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Emmanuelle Riva dies aged 89
30 January 2017, 12:48 | Noel Cummings
Emmanuelle Riva, the Oscar-nominated French actress, dies aged 89
Emmanuelle Riva, revered French actress and Oscar nominee for the movie Amour, died Friday at the age of 89. But after years of working as seamstress, at age 26 she left her rural French town to pursue her dreams of being an actress in Paris. The film was directed by Alain Resnais and has always been considered one of the most important films in modern cinema.
She first garnered critical acclaim for her role as Elle in Hiroshima Monday amour (Hiroshima, My Love), the 1959 classic film directed by Alain Resnais and written by Marguerite Duras, for which the latter was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Resnais cuts between documentary footage and scenes of the past and present, with Riva's character (who has no name) narrating the action through Duras' poetic, purposely repetitive dialogue - including the famous "You saw nothing in Hiroshima", a line suggesting the impossibility of grasping the enormous destruction of a recent war. She was quickly spotted and cast in the movie "Hiroshima Mon Amour".
Although she received Baftas for her first and one of her last films, Riva avoided the Hollywood limelight in the time between the, .
Riva was Oscar-nominated for her role in "Amour", Michael Haneke's brutal depiction of an aging couple. She's cared for by her husband, played by Jean-Louis Trintignant, and the result is an unflinching look at the quietude of a life at its end.
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In her later years she was more relegated to playing mothers and grandmothers but she never stopped acting. But that doesn't mean that she and Georges can't live it on their own terms - that an act of love, however upsetting, won't spare them the worst.
Riva got her start in 1959's Hiroshima Mon Amour, about a failing romance between a French actor and a Japanese architect.
She took acting lessons, obtaining a scholarship, and began her career on the stage.
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