Emmanuelle Riva is very calm in the face of this:

It’s likely that Riva never expected to be buying a ticket to Los Angeles – her latest movie, about age, friendship and love, won acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival, though she was never considered for an Oscar before the nominations were announced. Speaking to The Wrap about hearing of her nod, Riva explained, “I found out in New York, I was there for the critics circle award. The 10th of January, early morning. My neighbors who help me when I travel shouted for joy. I was barely awake. They were screaming, ‘You’re nominated!’ I stayed very calm. I got up and said, ‘I’m not nominated.’ Of course I was very happy.” A couple of weeks back, the category of Best Actress at the Oscars was considered a two-horse race, between Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence and Zero Dark Thirty’s Jessica Chastain. However, Riva won the same award at the BAFTAs on Sunday (February 10, 2013), adding an air of intrigue to the result on February 24, 2013. On how she plans to go about her business at the Academy Awards, Riva said, “I am very calm in the face of all of this. I am 85 years old. I am not going to flop about like a fish. What makes me nervous is these hours on the plane. Frankly, it seems like a hell of a journey to me. It’s so long. But I will do things to the end. I will fall in someone’s arms if I need to.”

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  • Richard

    Of all the nominees this year in all of the categories, a win for Riva is what I most hope for.

  • phantom

    Making a public statement NOW that the voting officially started a few days ago, is a VERY smart move. Now everybody knows she WILL attend, she WILL spend her birthday at the Oscars, and it WILL be a very special moment if she wins. She might not have campaigned at all like the other four, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have THE Oscar narrative of the Season : 85 year old European acting legend receives her first Oscar nomination and if she wins, she will be the oldest acting winner to date, it will be on her 86th birthday and she, the elderly French lady will receive the award from the first French actor who won Best Actor…that’s a story that in my opinion, will be impossible to ignore. Fingers crossed !

  • Zach

    This really could be 1989 all over again = Picture/Director split + Picture winner is backed by actors, politically safe + returning Director winner + oldest Actress winner + beats beauty queen Globe winner + DDL wins + hopefully DDL’s costar wins + Disney wins

  • Pierre de Plume

    When Marion Cotillard won, I’m certain that her willingness to campaign in the weeks leading up to the Oscars helped put her over the top. This doesn’t mean I think she didn’t deserve to win – she did. Riva, on the other hand, is a different case. I don’t think she needs to campaign to win. The narrative is enough – not to mention her great performance.

  • helios

    Cotillard’s win is considered to be one of the most deserving in recent years. Hopefully we’ll see another much deserved French upset at the Oscars.

  • PaulH

    Helios…you had to step on the third rail of that year’s actress category ;).

    I was an Ellen Page fan that year and I thought she was splendid in Juno. Would’ve won in any other year. Hasn’t been nominated since, not in a good film since. Nothing is guaranteed. It’s all well and good for you folks to say to any 20-something phenom, oh, she’ll get another chance down the road. Ellen Page is exhibit A that it sometimes doesn’t quite work out that way. Who’s to say ‘Serena’ won’t be all that and a bag of chips later this year? Or a future project down the line?

  • Antoinette

    She could take the bus. There’s time. And probably a senior discount. 🙂

  • PaulH

    *Inception being the exception to that ‘not in a good film since’ remark.

  • phantom


    With all due respect, if you consider the possibility that a twentysomething (!) acting nominee should win because she might not deliver a worthy performance in a worthy film AGAIN, do you honestly believe that actress would DESERVE to be called an Academy Award winner for the rest of her life ?

  • Antoinette

    @phantom It’s not just about the actress and her abilities. It’s about the roles too. An actress might never get a good “Oscar worthy” role again.

    Having said that, I’m not a fan of Ellen Page, but I thought she was much better in this year’s TO ROME WITH LOVE than in stinky ol’ JUNO. TRWL was better than some of the BP nominees.

  • Valerie

    Anyone who wants to see Rivas talent over the years, just goto YouTube where there are several of her films uploaded there in entirety, and most have subtitles.

    I think the thing that puts Riva as an actress and her role a step above the rest is her timeless and luminous quality on screen. Watch her in her early films and watch her in more recent films and this still shines through. It’s something very few actresses can retain as they age. Many become sort of hard and britttle.(Crawford and Davis are 2 prime examples). Jessica Tandy had this luminosity too as do actresses like Rosemary Harris.

    I want her to win, I think she deserves it, but Im not optimistic.shes not campaigning nor does she have a Weinstein or Clooney in her corner. If she wins it would truly only be because of her performance and her legendary acting career and life. Oh and for someone not being defined by a man, Riva has never been married, has lived alone her entire life independently. You don’t have to behave like a man to be considered not defined by one, in fact isn’t acting like a male the epitome of being defined by a man? Think about it.

  • smoothcriminal

    I’m so torn over Best Actress. I love Reva, but Amour just rubbed me the wrong way, I had a lot of trouble sitting through it. I LOVE Chastain and her winning would be the hilight for me. But really, this year is so great becasue all 5 of them were brilliant and deserving of a win (Lawrence the least IMO), and seeing any one of them up on stage would be great.

  • Zooey

    Harvey must be going crazy because the press is all about Emmanuelle Riva these days. I just came across numerous articles. I hope she really surprises! Imagine what a wonderful moment it would be. Lawrence will be an average winner. Riva will be one for the history books and her winning on her 86th birthday will be a big moment.

    By the way AMOUR is the first foreign language picture nominee in 12 years!!!

  • James

    I still don’t know if she has this. I feel like Lawrence could win for good ratings, but the voters of the Academy don’t really care about that.

  • joe

    Emmanuelle Riva is a interesting actress. but Lawrence has this one in the bag for sure.

  • Scotty

    The argument that the voters picking Lawrence would be good for ratings is a weird one. I mean people will be tuning in to see if she’ll win or lose. They already have the viewership there, if we’re saying Jennifer Lawrence will actually bring in viewers, so it doesn’t really matter if she won. Her getting nominated would have been enticing enough for her fans to watch.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    “By the way AMOUR is the first foreign language picture nominee in 12 years!!!”

    Inglourious Basterds = 72% non-English
    Letters from Iwo Jima = 98% non-English

    Yeah, yeah. I know what you meant 🙂

  • Tero Heikkinen

    “They already have the viewership there, if we’re saying Jennifer Lawrence will actually bring in viewers, so it doesn’t really matter if she won.”

    Good point. Maybe they mean that Oscars lose viewership from the last 30 minutes of the show. ABC feels very strongly about this for selling commercials in USA, but Academy doesn’t care. They still get a billion viewers worldwide. Try that, Grammy.

  • James

    Yea, but Scotty I feel like casual viewers will only so far to watch their populist flicks lose again and again.

    “Who the fuck is Emmanuelle Riva?”-A viewer after Lawrence losing.

  • Jerry

    Riva’s all ‘keep calm and carry on bitches!” Cute old lady. Still haven’t seen Amour so don’t know if she should be the winner but good luck to her.

  • Manny

    Look at her, trying to play the sympathy card. Cue the violins. In all honesty, she is not deserving of the win. Her performance was not ground-breaking; it was sad, but the effects of old age can do that, especially when considering that life is not forever. In watching Amour, I felt that she was playing herself and not a character, maybe because it was in French. Also, I feel that Julie Christie gave a much better performance in 2007 for Away From Her, essentially a similar character to what Riva plays. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was indeed spectacular, so I am hoping that she takes it, for it will be truly deserved.

  • paulH

    James, this years Oscars should pop a big rating because of all the bells and whistles scheduled for it, topped by the Bond tribute. As 2010 proved, any controversial decision or the Academy going way off the reservation is reflected in the *following year’s* ratings. The 2011 Oscar telecast lost 10% of its total audience and 13% in the 18-49 demo, most likely because of l’affaire Hurt Locker, the least-seen BP winner, adjusted for inflation in US movie history. And that was WITH Inception and Toy Story 3 in the best movie mix. So any issues that mainstream moviegoers have with Oscar’s choices a fortnight from now will come home to roost in 2014.

  • Free

    “Fear of Flying, Riva is”

    -Hmm. What a strange headline.

  • alan of montreal

    ” I am not going to flop about like a fish. ” – classic

  • Zach M.

    Did Yoda right the post title?

  • phantom


    “Look at her, trying to play the sympathy card.”

    Well, if she is, she was the last one to join the party…

    Jennifer Lawrence – I might not look it, but I have a severe case of pneumonia.
    Jessica Chastain – I had been a struggling actress for so long.
    Quvenzhané Wallis – Look, I am a cute child!
    Naomi Watts – The amazing survivor I play, is my inspiration.

    Playing the sympathy card is nothing new, however accusing a contender to do it who hasn’t been campaigning at all – especially compared to the other four who HAVE campaigned their asses off – doesn’t make much sense, though.

  • Scotty


    “Yea, but Scotty I feel like casual viewers will only so far to watch their populist flicks lose again and again.
    “Who the fuck is Emmanuelle Riva?”-A viewer after Lawrence losing.”

    That may be true, but if say 5 or even 10% of those people decide to watch Amour just to see the performance that beat Jennifer Lawrence, then I think a good thing happened.

    People will always bitch about popular choices losing out or even being snubbed of a nomination. Ratings go up and down depending on every year’s collection of nominated films (and interest at the box office) plus publicity from the host, media, etc.

    Jennifer Lawrence will not have a long-term effect on Oscar ratings as I’m sure people who care about that stuff have either already suffered in the past and have become masochists hoping against hope that this year will be different (hey, they gave extremely popular actress Sandra Bullock an Oscar), or they will get over it and go for their new favorite film/actor the next year or two (if they’re still so angry about the Oscars the previous year that they swore off the award the following year only to come back again once they get over it). Or, even if Jennifer Lawrence wins, her fans that would only watch to see her really won’t tune in next year unless she gets nominated again since she’s the only reason they’re watching in the first place (which I think is way overstated).

  • Tero Heikkinen

    “In watching Amour, I felt that she was playing herself and not a character, maybe because it was in French.”

    Here’s Emmanuelle in real life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lGmX9YpLw8

    Here’s her character in the film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lGmX9YpLw8

    Did I make my point? And that is when her character is as normal as can be (these producers obviously don’t want them big clips on YouTube, unlike Hollywood). Spoken language can not be the problem. We are all the same despite our mother tongue, acting is the same everywhere.

  • Bridgie James Rosenthal

    Emmanuelle Riva’s transcendent and emotionally rich portrayal of a physically and emotionally challenged wife in Amour is my personal choice for the Best Actress Oscar.

    Realistically, however, most “pundits” are saying that Jennifer Lawrence has this award in the bag.

    Considering the five major nods for the Sony Pictures Classics release, I have a feeling that an upset is brewing in this category (or is it just ‘wishful thinking’?)…

    Predictions for the major categories (version two):

    Best Picture – “Argo”
    Best Director – Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
    Best Actor – Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
    Best Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
    Best Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
    Best Supporting Actress – Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
    Best Adapted Screenplay – Chris Terrio, “Argo”
    Best Original Screenplay – Michael Haneke, “Amour”
    Best Foreign Language Film – “Amour,” Margaret Menegoz, Stefan Arndt, and Veit Heiduschka,producers; Michael Haneke, director

  • moviewatcher

    If Riva wins, I shall jump from my chair and scream in joy, for all will be right with the world…

    except two categories later when Argo takes Best Picture… *sniff*

  • PaulH

    Joe, a brave soul 🙂

    “Emmanuelle Riva is a interesting actress. but Lawrence has this one in the bag for sure.”

    Takes courage to say that, and for that, thanks. *thinks its to early to break out the ‘we few, we happy few, we band of brothers” speech 😉

  • Larry

    Regardless of what everyone else thinks, I still think this year STUNK for this Best Actress category. We didn’t even have a good front-runner until Jessica Chastain for ZDT started winning the critics awards (actually Jennifer Lawrence won more, I believe). It makes me wish that they had delayed Albert Nobbs by a year and Glenn Close could have finally won the award and deserved it.

  • Aaron

    Jennifer Lawrence will win for RATINGS? What the what??? Are we talking about the Academy who snubbed both uber-popular and critically revered juggernauts like Wall-E and The Dark Knight in favor of generic, poorly received Oscar-porn The Reader? Or the Academy that snubbed superstar Eddie Murphy in favor of long-time character actor Alan Arkin? Or the Academy that just snubbed one of 2011’s most popular and critically acclaimed films called Bridesmaids that had consistent guild support and industry love in favor of ANOTHER terribly received Oscar-gimme film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close? And the Academy that has consistently snubbed megastars like Angelina Jolie and Leonardo DiCaprio, even when they give stellar, award-worthy work?

    If any of this is relevant, it’s because the Academy always ends up doing what they want…ratings be damned! The most recent time where they tried to be “hip” and seek out a younger audience (cough James Franco and Anne Hathaway cough), it bombed terribly.

    Emmanuelle Riva is in this race, even if she is going up against the newly-crowned Hollywood princess.

  • Brian

    Whilst I think Lawrence was splendid in SLP, I don;t think her performance was the best of the five actresses. In fact I would rank her 4th, in front of only Wallis.

    I wouldn’t think it the worst offence ever if she won but I would REALLY REALLY regret not being able to see PaulH eat a slice of humble pie.

    Although let’s be honest if anyone else’s name is read what is the bet PaulH mysteriously disappears from this site…

  • PaulH

    “Yea, but Scotty I feel like casual viewers will only so far to watch their populist flicks lose again and again.
    “Who the fuck is Emmanuelle Riva?”-A viewer after Lawrence losing.”

    “That may be true, but if say 5 or even 10% of those people decide to watch Amour just to see the performance that beat Jennifer Lawrence, then I think a good thing happened.”

    Or inspire people to make it their life’s work to avoid seeing it. After they say ‘there goes Oscar again, awarding stuff to something that nobody’s seen outside (almost) of the film’s cast, relatives and close friends’.

  • Scotty

    And that changes nothing regarding the ratings.

    Those are the same people that would be too close-minded to ever watch the film in the first place. People like that are always going to exist, and people who most Americans have never heard of have won Oscars before and will continue to do so in the future. Ratings go up and down, but the Oscars have continued to maintain their relevancy no matter what.

    Anyway, that’s why I gave it a conservative percentage because I know that only a few people actually watch the Oscars to get exposed to smaller films without much publicity, but they do exist out there. Maybe some of the Lawrence fans who are already inclined to open their mind to new and different sort of films will have their inner film-geekdom awakened and be inspired to watch a lot of the films they never heard of . . . including Amour.

    I remember when I was a teenager rooting for American Beauty all the way like fiend. When Benning lost to Hillary Swank, I just had to watch Boys Don’t Cry (I really wanted Benning to win) and was blown away. I know Benning doesn’t inspire the same teenage craziness that Lawrence no doubt does, but it can happen.

    Anyway, since when did mainstream popularity become the measurement in which Academy members vote? I think most vote with the candidate they like best (for a myriad of reasons) and that’s pretty much it. I think a lot of Academy members (outside those who get too into it) aren’t as jaded and cynical as we commentators are to vote the way many accuse them of doing so. Or maybe I’m naive, who knows.

  • steve50

    “Although let’s be honest if anyone else’s name is read what is the bet PaulH mysteriously disappears from this site…”

    Not going to happen – and I wouldn’t want it to. PaulH, bless-im, is our not-so-North Star that you always keep behind you. Without him we’d have no navigational device.

    Besides, his reasoning can be quite imaginative (“inspire people to make it their life’s work to avoid seeing it”). You have to admit that’s screwy, but quite good.

  • Brian


    Yeah, i do admit as much as I think there is a bit of lunacy there i do always look forward to reading his comments.

    If only for the consistency of ignorance.

    (That seemed mean but it isn’t intended that way)

  • PaulH

    Screw you both, Brian and Steve. I have as much right to express my opinions as you,do, but that crosses the line. One school of thought will prevail on the 24th, and no matter which one it is, I’ll still be here long after either of you have moved on to something else.

  • phantom


    “I have as much right to express my opinions as you,do”

    You’re right, you are entitled to your opinion just like everyone else, problem is you opted not to watch Amour and again, you had every right to do that, but you didn’t have the right to dismiss a performance you haven’t even seen, and that’s exactly what you have been doing for weeks, trying to convince everybody that Riva’s turn is undeserving, a turn (AND film) you have obviously NO idea about.

    THAT is why you lose all your credibility when you talk about Best Actress and THAT is why I can’t take your opinion seriously, because after all this, I have to question whether you had seen the OTHER contenders you trashed, Zero Dark Thirty in particular. Long story short, it very much feels like you LOVED Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games last March (!) and decided THEN that she will be the only one worthy of Oscar-recognition in 2012 and when she failed to garner any Oscar-buzz for that performance, you jumped on the SLP-bandwagon and started championing her for that and instantly dismissed every Best Actress contender who dared to emerge as a serious contender ever since. When Chastain seemed to be Lawrence’s biggest rival, you went after her, now that it’s Riva, you focus all your anger on her, it doesn’t really matter for you who it is or what her performance is like, as long as the contender in question is a viable threat for Lawrence’s Oscar, you trash her without even seeing the film in question FIRST…again, after publicly dissing an unseen performance, I even have to ask this : have you even seen Silver Linings Playbook ? Or The Hunger Games (and its Box Office numbers) was all the ‘proof’ you needed ?

  • phantom

    Bottom line : You have absolutely NO business talking about Amour and what awards it deserves and doesn’t deserve. Watch it, THEN we can talk, until then your opinion about a film you haven’t even seen yet you already seem to hate, remains what it is : nothing.

  • Paul Voorhies

    And yet, she still sits at #5 on your list after her BAFTA win. I think she should be boosted up to #3. If there is a surprise win, it will be her. Don’t be caught unawares!

  • steve50

    PaulH – Both Brian and I say we enjoy your postings and that’s the way you react – that we crossed some kind of line?

    Well, you never fail to surprise.

  • PaulH

    ‘Lunacy’? ‘Ignorance’? That I’ll run from here with tail between my legs if the Academy hands out yet anotther lifetime achievement award? That’s what I was railing against, Steve. If I misinterpreted, then I publicly apologize. In the last 12 hours, I feel we’re being set up for just such a happening.

    I think the way AMPAS is set up, it borderline punishes young performers who knock it out of the park, in actually winning an Oscar. But frankly, I’m a little weary of getting hammered any time I try to make an argument for or against something, so ill keep that theory to myself for now.

  • phantom


    It’s easy, you won’t get criticism once you stop trashing films and performances you refused to watch.

  • steve50

    It’s not hammering, it’s conversation. We’ve all given it, we’ve all received it, and we’re all still here.

  • Ryan Adams

    PaulH, if you can name even 2 other films by Emmanuelle Riva without looking them up then your accusation that her Oscar would be for lifetime achievement might show you put some thought into your attacks.

    Most of us can name several of her films and one of them from her youth is an all time favorite of mine, a masterpiece that towers above the “Best Pictures” of its era.

    But her filmography is not well-known by American moviegoers so I don’t fault you the gaps in your knowledge. (What is the last film you saw that wasn’t in English, Paul? Don’t answer. I don’t need to know. Not trying to shame you. But just stop to think about it in your own head).

    You sound frustrated and fed up. Let me tell you, friend, I am frustrated and fed up with you suggesting I have a grudge against Jennifer Lawrence. Please stop it. I think Lawrence is great. I’ve loved her in almost everything she’s done. But I think her role in SLP is thin, exploitive, false. She gamely makes the best of it, but to me it’s the weakest nominated performance in the weakest BP nominee.

    PaulH, I will wager you like Jennifer Lawrence offscreen as much as you like her in SLP. You like her in other things she’s done more than you like her as Tiffany. You like her in The Hunger Games better. You like the X-Men movie more than you like SLP. I know you do, and you never try to hide it.

    Looks like to me you like Jennifer Lawrence because of how much you’ve grown to love her throughout the movies she has made in her lifetime.

    In other words, PaulH, you don’t really care about SLP or this flimsy role as Tiffany. You just want to see J-Law get a lifetime achievement award for a lifetime that happens to be 22 yrs and counting.

    You have never seen 2 minutes of Emmanuelle Riva doing anything onscreen ever at any point in her lifetime or your own.

    So cut the crap with this Lifetime Achievement Award nonsense. You’re tossing out simple-minded slurs and you’re insulting me by implying I hate a young actress whom I actually very much admire. Just not in this dumb role in this dumb movie, that’s all.

    If you will please stop saying ignorant things I’m confident people will stop saying you’re ignorant. Then we’ll all be happier.

  • Robert A.

    Just for the record, PaulH, it’s possible for someone over fifty to win an acting award that isn’t about “lifetime achievement.” It’s possible someone over 50 wins because AMPAS considers her/his performance the best of the nominees. That would certainly be the case with a Riva win.

    You mention that the Academy is set up to “borderline punish” someone who is young from winning an award. Um, no, at least not in Lead Actress. Look back and see how many winners in this category are in their twenties/early thirties in comparison to a woman who is over fifty, not to mention over eighty. If anyone is fighting ageism for a win, it’s Riva, not Lawrence.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I just get a kick out of this headline which says that Emmanuelle Riva is Fear of Flying. Shouldn’t it be “afraid of”? And I don’t think she said that she’s afraid of flying, just that the flight is too long.

    Plus she woke up when heard about her nomination in New York and I believe the local time was about 8:30am. Isn’t that… like… afternoon for 85-year-olds?

  • Paul Voorhies

    No, really. Why isn’t Riva #3 on the list?? Seems like a no-brainer at this point.

  • PaulH

    Robert, I did some Wiki-ing, and discovered the average age of the last thirty best actress winners, from the 55th to the 85th annual event, was 41.1. A Lawrence victory would make her the youngest best actress winner since Marlee Matlin. There have been a few 30-somethings, obviously, but the higher the median age, the older the winners have been.

    Maybe once the dust has settled, the solution would be to televise the Oscars *before* the BAFTAs. That way the Brits can’t influence things as abnormally as they’ve done over the last decade + in actress. Your mileage may vary.

  • phantom


    Similar stat : In the last 15 years 12 Best Actress winners (80 %) were under 36, 5 of them were in their twenties, and 7 of them were in their early/mid thirties. So let’s not pretend that A. being the ‘young and pretty one’ in the Best Actress race isn’t a big advantage and B. giving it to Lawrence would be such a groundbreaking development, sure she is just 22, but it’s not like there weren’t a bunch of twentysomethings who won this award in recent years. Based on all this, the only viable contender who doesn’t have precedent on her side is Riva, and on paper it should be down to twentysomething Lawrence and thirtysomething Chastain…ON PAPER, in reality this could be EASILY that rare missdaisy kind of year.

    Long story short, it is a VERY weak argument (and this goes to Winston, too) that IF Lawrence won’t win it’s because the Academy discriminates against her age, when in reality if the Academy is ageist, the under 36 demo is not the one who suffers, it’s everyone else above 36…so imagine what an 85 year old has to face here…

    P.S. Also worth mentioning, in the last 15 years NONE of the twentysomething Best Actress winners had previous Best Actress nominations…Lawrence has one which means automatically she doesn’t have to prove herself THAT much, having been already recognized by the Academy BIG TIME.

    1997 – Helen Hunt (34)
    1998 – Gwyneth Paltrow (26)
    1999 – Hilary Swank (25)
    2000 – Julia Roberts (33)
    2001 – Halle Berry (35)
    2002 – Nicole Kidman (35)
    2003 – Charlize Theron (28)
    2004 – Hilary Swank (30)
    2005 – Reese Witherspoon (29)
    2006 – Helen Mirren (61)
    2007 – Marion Cotillard (32)
    2008 – Kate Winslet (33)
    2009 – Sandra Bullock (45)
    2010 – Natalie Portman (29)
    2011 – Meryl Streep (62)

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