85-year old French movie star Emanuelle Riva, star of this year’s unapologetic future classic “Amour“, is already making history as the oldest Actress to be nominated in her category at this year’s Academy Awards, and might just be going on to make history again if she wins- making her the oldest Actress to win the Best Actress trophy ever (beating Jessica Tandy’s record back in 1990 for the film “Driving Miss Daisy” at the age of 81).
And with a surprise win at this year’s BAFTA Award (just ask David O’Russell), Ms. Riva might just be on her way to that podium to accept for this year’s Academy Awards, set for February 24. In reaction to her nomination, Riva said:
“I am truly happy, touched, and honored to receive, today in New York, a nomination for the role of Anne in AMOUR by Michael Haneke. For me, it is an immense gift, at this stage of my life, to be chosen by my sisters and brothers, for what I do as an actress. I never thought, while working throughout the years in Europe and France, that one day, i would cross the Atlantic Ocean, come to the United States, and be nominated. It is quite surreal for me. Shooting AMOUR with Michael Haneke was a complete joy for me, as I felt an absolute trust in him and we were in complete synch. Michael is the very music of his own film.”
The film is nominated for 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Style enthusiasts will be excited to see what Ms. Riva busts onto the red carpet come the big night. But, just because of her age, don’t count her out on making an impression. She is French, after all.
But on top of that, she is a star that has been working in the industry overseas for decades upon decades.
Leave it to the Academy to wait until one of the most talented actresses there has ever been is 85 years old to garner a nomination. One of the first films that ever made a real impact on my style, and on my creative outlook was the 1959 art-house film classic, “Hiroshima, Mon Amour“, which aptly starred the beautiful blonde French bombshell (indeed, she was!).
The film was directed my Alain Resnais (“The Last Year At Marienbad“), and written by the novelist Margeurite Duras, in one of the most incredibly poetic screenplays ever written.
The film is fascinating as it travels in and out of the streets of Hiroshima, shot after the tragedy of the Atom bomb.
The film explores an interracial romance between Emanuelle Riva, a French Actress filming a war picture and her romance with the brilliantly handsome Eji Okada, and the culture clash that surrounds them in the beautiful ruins of the sad Japanese landmark.
The film is groundbreaking for the two as Eji Okada is given an almost European sophistication, not to mention a major dose of sex-appeal (something Asian men were not given in films at this time), and Emanuelle Riva bravely explores a plethora of conditions and situations as her character explores her past.
Emanuelle Riva shows off some major chops in this film – showing a range that could only be described as Award-worthy.
Sadly, the Academy was not up to snuff with their foreign film actresses, so it’s great today to see that so many talents from around the world are accepted into the limelight of fame and stardom no matter their age or race – what matters most is talent. And by gosh, does Emanuelle Riva have that!
She is an actress that deserves to be recognized, and whose beauty we are lucky to have been captured on film over sixty years ago . Granted, she is very beautiful still, even at 85 years of age, but it’s really great to glimpse the actress in her younger years, watching her take big risks and break huge grounds. If it weren’t for her risky performances in the past, there probably wouldn’t even be the possibility of the range we see now for female actors in the industry.
Beauty can be summed up in many ways, but most importantly, it is this attitude of unwillingness to coincide with the expectations of the norms that is the most beautiful aspect of any human being there can be.
Fingers crossed for Emanulle Riva come the big night (if not her, we’d love to see little Quevenzhane Wallis take the prize!).
Until next time!
Emanuelle Riva, Mon Amour . . .