Cinematic Soul Mates – By Mark Harris

Sitting in an East Side hotel suite in early October, across from the writer-director Pedro Almodovar, Penelope Cruz picked up a glossy, oversized magazine and gazed admiringly at the cover photograph of Uma Thurman. “It’s good,” she said, turning the picture toward Mr. Almodovar, her eyes seeking his endorsement.

He leaned toward it, enthusiastically assessing Ms. Thurman’s pose and cropped blond coiffure. “Yes, yes,” he said to Ms. Cruz, accelerating from English into Spanish as his mind started racing along tracks of celluloid. “Actresses, when they are close to 40, cut their hair. It always makes them look younger. Remember Sharon Stone? How she cut her hair when she was about 40, 42? It was good!”