Emmanuelle Riva

Emmanuelle Riva

Riva in 1962
Born Paulette Germaine Riva[1]
(1927-02-24) 24 February 1927
Cheniménil, France
Occupation Actress, poet, photographer, artist, chanteuse
Years active 1956–present

Emmanuelle Riva (French pronunciation: [emanɥɛl ʁiva]; born 24 February 1927) is a French actress, best known for her roles in the films Hiroshima mon amour and Amour.

In 2013, Riva won the BAFTA Award and the César Award for her lead role in Michael Haneke's Amour as Anne Laurent, and was nominated for the Academy Award for the same role.[2][3] She had previously been nominated for a BAFTA Award in 1960 for Hiroshima mon amour, and had won Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival in 1962 for Thérèse Desqueyroux.

Personal life

She was born Paulette Germaine Riva in Cheniménil, France. She grew up in Remiremont. Riva was the only child of Jeanne (née Nourdin) who descended from a family of Lorrainian and Alsatian farmers and Alfredo Riva, an Italian sign painter from Lombardy.[4][5]

Riva moved to Paris at the age of 26 in 1953 from her home in rural France to become an actress, despite opposition from her family. She started her acting career on the Paris stage after having trained as a seamstress. She never married and has no children. She lives in Paris. She speaks French and some Italian but not English and has never performed in English.



Her best known role was as Elle in Hiroshima mon amour (1959) directed by Alain Resnais and written by Marguerite Duras, for which Duras was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. She appeared in Kapò (1959), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film from Italy, Adua and her Friends, (1960) starring Simone Signoret, Leon Morin, Priest (1961) opposite Jean-Paul Belmondo and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, Thérèse Desqueyroux (1962), Thomas the Imposter (1965), Three Colours: Blue (1993) as the mother of Juliette Binoche, and Venus Beauty Institute (1999) alongside Micheline Presle.

In 2011, Riva appeared in Le Skylab starring and directed by Julie Delpy. In 2012 she received rave reviews and an Academy Award nomination for her role opposite Jean-Louis Trintignant in Amour. The 85th Academy Awards just happened to be held on her 86th birthday. Riva traveled to Los Angeles where she lost the award to Jennifer Lawrence. Riva tied with Lawrence for the LA Film Critics Best Actress Award, and also won the NSFC Best Actress Award among numerous other mentions for her performance.

Other works

Riva has enjoyed an extensive theatre career in her native Paris, France. In 2001, she performed in a production of Medea at Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe. She has also appeared occasionally on French television programs. In February 2014, Riva returned to the Paris stage performing in Savannah Bay by Marguerite Duras at Théâtre de l'Atelier.[6]

While filming Hiroshima mon amour, Riva photographed Hiroshima; a half-century later these photographs were exhibited at the Nikon Salon and were issued in book form in France and Japan.[7] Riva is a published poet.[8]

Selected filmography

Year Title Director Notes
1959 Hiroshima mon amour Alain Resnais Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
1959 Kapò Gillo Pontecorvo
1960 The Eighth Day Marcel Hanoun
Adua and Friends Antonio Pietrangeli
Recourse in Grace Laslo Benedek
1961 Léon Morin, Priest Jean-Pierre Melville
1962 Thérèse Desqueyroux Georges Franju Volpi Cup for Best Actress
Climats Stellio Lorenzi
1963 The Hours of Love Luciano Salce
Le gros coup Jean Valère
1965 Thomas the Impostor Georges Franju
1967 Risky Business André Cayatte
1973 I Will Walk Like a Crazy Horse Fernando Arrabal
1982 The Eyes, the Mouth Marco Bellocchio
1993 Three Colors: Blue Krzysztof Kieślowski
1999 Venus Beauty Institute Tonie Marshall
2001 Médée Don Kent
2009 A Man and His Dog Francis Huster
2011 Le Skylab Julie Delpy
2012 Amour Michael Haneke BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
César Award for Best Actress
Dublin Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
European Film Award for Best Actress
International Cinephile Society Award for Best Actress
London Film Critics Circle Award for Actress of the Year
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Lumières Award for Best Actress
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Actress
Premio Cinema Ludus for Best European Actress
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated—AACTA International Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Dorian Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Houston Film Critics Society for Best Actress
Nominated—Irish Film & Television Awards – Best International Actress
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated—New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Días de Cine Awards for Best Actress


See also

Emmanuelle Riva at Cannes 2012


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