French actress Emmanuelle Riva might not be a name that everyone knows, but after her stunning performance in this year’s Best Picture nominated film,“Amour”, she has solidified herself a place in Oscar history. On February 24th, when the Academy Awards are being announced, Riva will also be having a celebration on her own; it will be her 86th birthday. As the oldest Best Actress nominee in history, Riva was two years old at the celebration of the first ever Academy Award ceremony.
In “Amour”, Riva plays Anne Laurent, a retired music teacher who suffers a stroke that paralyses one side of her body. Her husband ( Jean-Louis Trintignant) takes care of her to the best of his ability, but Anne tells him that she doesn’t want to go back to the hospital or to a nursing home, no matter what.
Emmanuelle Riva has achieved world-wide acclaim for her performance in this film; as she has been nominated for so many awards this year it is hard to even keep track of them all. Throughout her career she has not enjoyed an overwhelmingly large amount of attention, but staring with her breakthrough role in “Hiroshima mon amour” (1959), her acting talents began to turn some heads. Many years later she published a book of photographs that she had taken of Hiroshima during filming. Over the next eight years Riva continued to work in films such as “Leon Morin, Priest” (1961), directed by Jean-Pierre. At that point she took a 26 year break before returning in
1993, as the mother of Juliette Binoche in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Three Colors: Blue” (1993). Since that time, Riva has continued to appear in a film every couple of years, including a small role in “A Man and His Dog”(2009), which is a remake of Vittorio De Sica’s “Umberto D.” (1952).
Although “Amour” still isn’t widely available do to its limited release,everyone who has had the opportunity to see this film has been mesmerized by the acting on Riva’s part. I don’t think she has a substantial chance of winning come Oscar night, but she has certainly proven to be one of the most memorable performances of the year.
You can learn more about this year’s Best Actress nominees here:
Back to Home for More Reviews