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'Volver' Given Oscar Green Light

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Sep 29, 2006 | 6:00am EDT

Spanish moviemaker Pedro Almodovar was celebrating last night after his Penelope Cruz-starring film Volver beat off stiff competition to represent his homeland at next year's Oscars.

The movie was chosen ahead of Agustin Diaz Yanes' Alatriste and Salvador by Manuel Huerga by the Spanish Film Academy to battle it out in the foreign language category.

Almodovar, 54, insists he was astonished by the choice after a long-running feud with the judging committee. Last year, he quit the Spanish Film Academy in a feud over voting procedures and how Spain's candidate for the Oscars was chosen.

He says, "I am extremely happy. Of course we have the possibility of winning."

Cruz plays a young mother whose own mom returns from the dead in the movie, which has already won awards at this year's Cannes Film Festival and the San Sebastian Film Festival.

Almodovar is already a double Oscar winner after clinching prizes for All About My Mother in 2000 and Talk to Her in 2002.

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