Javier Bardem reduces Penelope Cruz to tears with romantic declaration of love

"I owe you a lot and I love you so much," said the actor during his best actor acceptance speech at Cannes
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"I share this joy with my friend, my companion, my love: Penelope: I owe you a lot and I love you so much." This is how Javier Bardem opened his heart to the whole world to shout his love for Penelope Cruz.

The Spanish Oscar winner made the touching dedication at Cannes Film Festival, as he accepted his best actor trophy - an award shared with Italian actor Elio Hermano.

It was the first time such a public display of affection has been forthcoming from the actor – who is fiercely protective of his private life. Neither he, nor Penelope have ever spoken about their romance, which they began in 2007.

Full of happiness after being recognised for his performance in Biutiful, Javier declared his love on stage without taking his eyes away from Penelope for a moment.

She looked as surprised as the rest of the audience – giving her boyfriend a tender smile while her eyes filled up with tears.

The No Country For Old Men actor finished his speech by blowing a kiss to his sweetheart, a gesture which she returned.

The Oscar-winning actress chose a beautiful Elie Saab gown for the occasion. And though she steered clear of the red carpet to make sure the attention was focused clearly on her boyfriend, she found herself the centre of attention as Javier made his speech.

In the last few months Javier and Penelope have been taking their love into the limelight with appearances at the Goyas – where they went public with their relationship – the Oscars, and now at Cannes.

The big winner at the closing ceremony was mystical Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, which scooped the festival's top prize, the Palme d'Or.

Meanwhile French actress Juliette Binoche won best actress for her role in romantic drama Copie Conforme (Certified Copy).