"Amour," the latest addition to Michael Haneke's ("White Ribbon") uber-depressing oeuvre, hit the scene innocently enough. But the French flick, which plumbs the depths of marriage, parenting and aging, has become the Foreign-film-that-could, snatching up Oscar nods for Best Director, Best Foreign Film and Best Actress for 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva, making her the oldest actress ever to be nominated in that category.
But who is this screen sage? Moviefone has the full rundown on the star of "Amour."
Who Is Emmanuelle Riva?
She's an 85-year-old French actress who was a seamstress before she began her career in Paris theaters. Her best known role was as the female lead in 1959's "Hiroshima mon amour." The next year, she was nominated for a BAFTA for her performance. She has appeared in many films over her 50-year career, including "Thérèse Desqueyroux," which earned her the Volpi Cup for best actress at the Venice Film Festival. In addition to being an actress, Riva is a published poet and the photographs she took during the filming of "Hiroshima" were included in the Nikon Salon exhibition.
Who Does She Play in "Amour"?
The actress stars as Anne, one half of an elderly, musically-inclined couple. But after she suffers a stroke, her husband, Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and daughter (Isabelle Huppert), are left to care for her.
Where Else Can I See Her?
Riva will appear next in the French comedy, "A Greek Type of Problem" as "Granny."
Earlier on Moviefone:
Best Actress, Emmanuelle Riva
“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.” -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"</a>
Best Original Song
"First an Oscar nomination, then I find a basically brand-new queen mattress on my drive home. This is an incredible day." -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Seth MacFarlane for "Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from "Ted"</a>
Best Picture, 'Silver Linings Playbook'
“I am blown away! I can't say thank you enough to the Academy for their support of our films. We have a tremendous group of actors and film makers who we had the pleasure of working with this year and I am so happy that their achievements are being recognized.“ -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Harvey Weinstein, producer</a>
Best Animated Feature, 'Frankenweenie'
"Frankenweenie is a very personal film for me. The idea of telling a feature length version was in the back of my mind for many years. Stop Motion was the perfect medium for this project, and one I've always loved for its expressiveness and dimensionality. I've worked with so many incredible artists: animators, cast members, set builders, and puppet makers, all who have helped bring this film to life one frame at a time. I'm so honored that the Academy has recognized this film as one of its nominees." -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Tim Burton</a>
Best Director, Michael Haneke
“I am very happy and gratified by the Oscar nominations that "Amour" has received today, and that the voting members of the Academy have taken the film so strongly to their hearts. It is fulfilling to discover that a film has found the audience and critical acclaim that "Amour" has garnered. I have been very fortunate on both those fronts, but it is especially rewarding to discover that a film has found favor among one’s industry peers who know, in particular, the effort that goes into getting a film – any film – made. I am also especially happy for all the people who made "Amour" with me. It is a joyous occasion for us all. Many thanks.” -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Michael Haneke</a>
Best Supporting Actress, Jacki Weaver
"I arrived here from Australia just yesterday and this was the last thing I expected. I turned on TV this morning – I couldn’t sleep from being jet-lagged - and couldn’t believe it and said something very unprintable to myself! I think the film is very identifiable even if you don’t have those exact problems. We know people, we are related people as neighbors who have them. There are issues we can all identify with -- broken hearts, mental illness, sports as religion. I was recently interviewed by a British journalist, and he wanted to talk about the mental illness in the movie and. I wondered to him, ‘This film is very American. Do you think Brits and Australians are going to get it?’ He said, ‘Oh my God, yes. The themes are universal.’ I'm so proud of this movie." -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Jacki Weaver</a>
Best Cinematography, 'Anna Karenina'
“The director of the film I’m currently working on just texted me. We had a $100 bet that I wouldn’t get nominated, but he texted me that he’s $100 richer! I’m over the moon!” -Seamus McGarvey for "Anna Karenina"
Best Supporting Actress, Helen Hunt
"I was deeply deeply asleep when the news came in this morning and the dog was the first one to get celebratory love from me and my boyfriend! I’m really really happy and feel this is a good sign that people like the spirit this character embodies. This film is definitely counter-programming to a lot of the pain and harshness in the world. It's too bad that John [Hawkes] wasn't recognized, but that doesn't take away from the brilliance of his performance one bit." -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Helen Hunt for "The Sessions"</a>
Best Original Score, Dario Marianelli
"I am delighted to be nominated, and humbled by being in the company of composers whose work I have admired for so long. For the fourth time, director Joe Wright has inspired me and made sure that I would not miss any of the opportunities that his movie opened up for the music. I feel very grateful towards him." - Dario Marianelli for "Anna Karenina"
Best Supporting Actor, Robert De Niro
"I am very pleased that the Academy has chosen to honor the many individuals who were a part of 'Silver Linings Playbook.'" -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Robert De Niro for "Silver Linings Playbook"</a>
Best Director, David O. Russell
"I'm beyond grateful, since I didn't know what to expect. I'm especially over the moon for my actors. The fact that Bob (Robert De Niro) and Jacki Weaver were nominated is amazing." -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">David O. Russell for "Silver Linings Playbook"</a>
Best Actress, Naomi Watts
"This was a complete surprise. For the other announcements this season I was in NYC, no problem... I had a proper full night of sleep. There's something about this one, being in L.A., that creates a lot of angst! I had interruptions of sleep all night because of the kids, as if I wasn't restless enough, and each time I woke up I kept thinking, "It's not going to happen.' BAFTA didn’t give us love this week, and I thought they were making the Oscar announcements at 5 a.m. so at ten after, I thought, 'They would have called by now right?' But my publicist texted and said, 'They haven’t made the announcements yet!' I was super lucky too that my name was mentioned first. Usually I'm at the end of lists. Overall, it's very thrilling, especially in a year with so many incredible performances." -<a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Naomi Watts for "The Impossible"</a>
Best Supporting Actress, Anne Hathaway
"It's a wonderful morning. I'm still jet-lagged on Europe time because I spent the holidays there, so I've been up for a few hours already unsuccessfully trying to fall back asleep. It's such an honor to be a part of a piece of work that has spread so much love throughout the world. I worked with a fearless cast and was so inspired by them every day. I sent Hugh [Jackman] an email. It's also a bittersweet morning for all of us because [Tom Hooper]'s our captain, and there's no way I'm on the phone with you right now without his influence in my life. He's really happy for us, which is a great feeling." -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Anne Hathaway for "Les Miserables"</a>
Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence
"I thought I would wake up, but I didn't. My parents spent the night at my house, and they came in and kissed me on the forehead and told me about all the nominations for Silver Linings." -- <a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-2013-what-nominees-are-410678">Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook"</a>
Best Costume Design, 'Anna Karenina'
“I’m very excited! I’m also very pleased that other members of the "Anna Karenina" gang were nominated since this film was a collaboration.” -Jacqueline Durran
Best Animated Feature Film, 'ParaNorman'
“We are overjoyed that our movie has been Oscar-nominated! We made it with the unending support of brilliant producers and an amazing crew at LAIKA, a unique and cutting-edge studio. On behalf of all of them, we are so proud that the enduring craft of stop-motion has been acknowledged by the Academy -- and that the individuality of Norman himself is being celebrated.” - Sam Fell and Chris Butler, directors of the Best Animated Feature nominee "ParaNorman"
Best Original Screenplay, 'Moonrise Kingdom'
“I was in the car with my family when we heard the news – everyone was so excited! It’s a wonderful honor to be nominated among many great films and storytellers – Wes and I are thrilled.” -Roman Coppola for "Moonrise Kingdom"
Best Director, Ang Lee
“I am deeply honored and frankly a little overwhelmed by all of the nominations that ‘Life of Pi’ has received this morning. So many talented people gave everything they had to this film, both in front of and behind the camera, and to see all of them receive this kind of recognition is something I am incredibly grateful for.” --Ang Lee for "Life of Pi"