OSCAR INDEX: Will Groundswell Of Academy 'Amour' For Emmanuelle Riva Lead To Best Actress Upset?

Emmanuelle Riva Best Actress

With less than two weeks before the Academy Awards, the Oscar conversation is veering from “What now?” to “What if?” Amid all the talk of frontrunners and inevitabilities, some pundits are pondering the inscrutable. What if Oscar voters suddenly ignore all that Argo mojo (which got a further boost last weekend with Best Picture and Best Director wins at the BAFTAs)? What if the Best Supporting Actress race isn’t fait accompli, but instead, as Roger Ebert observed, asserts, as in years past, its independence as the category “where the voters like to throw a curve ball?” What if a BAFTA win earned Emmanuelle Riva a little Oscar Amour?

Let’s check out the Gold Linings Playbook to see how the pundits are calling the races this week:

Emmanuelle Riva Best ActressAcademy Award For Best Picture

A producer, an actor and a director — that sounds like the beginning of a joke, but this anonymous trio shared their Oscar ballots with The Los Angeles Times’ Glenn Whipp. The results are another indication that several of the major Oscar races are at this late date, too close to call. They also hint that Oscar voters might want to, in the words of the Director, “reward the wealth of great work.”

For Best Picture, the producer chose Zero Dark Thirty, the Director Argo, and the Actor Silver Linings Playbook. The latter should please Hollywood Elsewhere’s Jeffrey Wells, who this week issued a provocative call to arms against Argo to Oscar voters:

“At this stage of the game, a vote for Lincoln or Pi is effing wasted…. Why stick to your guns at this stage? To what end? So you can say to yourself "I refused to budge!...I stuck by my principles!"? That and $1.75 will get you a bus ticket (Editor’s note: I checked with Metro and $1.75 won’t get you on the Silver Line—insert your own Playbook pun here). If you want to make a difference you need to stand up, man up, give it up and cast your vote for the one movie that has a real chance of stealing the Best Picture Oscar away from Argo.…”

Wells’ ideal choice would be Zero Dark Thirty, but he puts it in the same “can’t possibly win” boat as Lincoln or Pi, and so he suggested Silver Linings Playbook for the block. This did not sit well with a good portion of commenters to his post. which Wells acknowledged the next day (“My suggestion was mocked, spat upon. But at least it was honest and constructive….”).

Which brings up the role of the Oscar pundit: Is it to objectively track the ebb and flow of the Oscar race, or to act as advocate? I asked Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone, one of the first of the Oscar bloggers 14 years ago. She graciously emailed back:

“Job one for an Oscar blogger is to read the race as accurately as possible…Every time an Oscar blogger pretends to know what all of the Academy are thinking God kills a kitten. Usually that information is coming from a publicist — an old trick that rarely works anymore. But sometimes it comes from someone like Anne Thompson who really works the beat, goes to the parties and screenings and talks to members. I don't think it's a foolproof way of producing reliable results but I usually take Anne's word over just about anyone else's because I know she's in the thick of it.To survive in today's (competitive) climate, you have to be a little of both: someone who can read the race and someone who advocates when necessary.”


1. Argo

2. Lincoln

3. Silver Linings Playbook

4. Life of Pi

5. Zero Dark Thirty

6. Beasts of the Southern Wild

7. Les Miserables

8. Amour

9. Django Unchained

 Emmanuelle Riva Best Actress

2013 Academy Awards: The Best Director Nominees

With Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper not even nominated, this category seems the most elusive. “It’s an exciting twist that leaves the Oscar race almost unprecedentedly free of bellwethers, as the five men in the running have won scarcely any major precursor awards between them,” writes In Contention’s Guy Lodge.

In the aftermath of the BAFTAs, Vanity Fair’s Julie Miller offered some tips for adjusting your Oscar pool ballot.  She, too, seems stymied by this category. “The safe bet is on [Steven] Spielberg,” she suggested, “for rallying Daniel Day-Lewis and screenwriter Tony Kushner and commandeering a decades-long production to make Lincoln.”

Once again, the anonymous Academy voters who shared their ballots with Whipp were all over the map when it came to the Best Director race. The Director chose Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild (“just floored me in the originality of his vision”), the Actor David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and the Producer Spielberg, but only because he couldn’t vote for the snubbed Kathryn Bigelow (It has come to this for Lincoln: On Abe’s birthday this week, the Associated Press interviewed several filmgoers who reported falling asleep during the film).

1.Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)

2 David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

3. Ang Lee (Life of Pi)

4. Michael Haneke (Amour)

5. Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Emmanuelle Riva Best Actress2013 Oscar Nominations For Best Actor

Another award and another awesome acceptance speech. Daniel Day-Lewis was in self-deprecating mode at the BAFTA awards poking fun at his painstaking and meticulous method and character preparation. In accepting his Best Actor award, he remarked that he had "stayed in character as myself for the last 55 years" in anticipation of winning a BAFTA.” Cannot wait to hear what he will say at the Oscars.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

2. Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)

3. Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

4. Denzel Washington (Flight)

5. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)

Emmanuelle Riva Best Actress2013 Academy Award Nominations For Best Actress

Is a BAFTA upset win for 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva really a game changer? Deadline Hollywood’s Pete Hammond and The Wrap’s Steve Pond think so. And there is some precedent. BAFTA-winner Marion Cotillard went on to win the Oscar without the benefit of a SAG Award.  The last two Best Actress Oscar-winners, Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman, were also BAFTA recipients. Oscar voters might also be swayed, not just by her devastating performance, but also by the fact that the actress whose screen breakthrough was in 1959's Hiroshima, Mon Amour would become the oldest Academy Award winner (she turns 86 Oscar night). When she attends the ceremony, it will be her first time in Los Angeles. Will Oscar voters be able to resist that backstory?

Meanwhile, Jennifer Lawrence and Jessica Chastain did themselves no favors by agreeing to appear on Zach Galifianakis’ Funny or Die diss-com series, Between Two Ferns.  The “Oscar Buzz Edition” premiered online this week, and it was a hit and mostly miss bag. Anne Hathaway, playing drunk, Christoph Waltz, Sally Field and Amy Adams acquitted themselves nicely, though. Adams, especially, should be given at least an honorary Oscar for the gravitas she brought to the line, “Don’t you ever fart on my tits again.”

Me; I prefer Jiminy Glick.

1. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

2. Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)

3. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)

4. Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

5. Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Emmanuelle Riva Best Actress2013 Oscars: Best Supporting Actor Nominees

Here, too, something may be in the air: a groundswell for Christoph Waltz, who earned a BAFTA award last weekend and also won a Golden Globe. He hosts Saturday Night Live this weekend and the mostly male, presumably Quentin Tarantino-loving writing staff will most likely be more inspired than they were for Jennifer Lawrence. While SAG-winner Tommy Lee Jones remains the frontrunner without doing any campaigning (he’s Ebert’s pick in his Outguess Ebert contest), Vanity Fair’s Julie Miller reminds that ”the only time that Jones has triumphed in the category at a major awards show this season was at the SAG Awards, where Waltz was not nominated.” Meanwhile, the Weinstein Company is going full Scorsese for Robert De Niro (whom the Producer and the Actor picked on their Oscar ballots). In addition to the ad reminding voters that DeNiro hasn’t won an Oscar since Raging Bull, Glenn Whipp reports receiving a targeted ad which replays DeNiro’s recent emotional appearance on Katie Couric’s talk show. Over the top? That’s what they said about Melissa Leo’s self-produced glamor ads on behalf of The Fighter. And she still won.

1. Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)

2. Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

3. Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)

4. Alan Arkin (Argo)

5. Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)

Emmanuelle Riva Best Actress2013 Academy Award Nominees For Best Supporting Actress

The aforementioned director and producer both picked Anne Hathaway (the Actor went with “underappreciated” Jacki Weaver). She is the near-unanimous choice among 24 out of 25 of the Gold Derby pundits and the unanimous pick of the Gurus o’ Gold, who include Thompson, Hammond and Pond. New York magazine’s trendspotting Vulture column asked it best this week: “If Not Anne Hathaway, Then Who?” The question is moot (but this being an historically “gotcha” category, one hastens to add the qualifier, “or is it?)”

1. Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

2. Sally Field (Lincoln)

3. Helen Hunt (The Sessions)

4. Amy Adams (The Master)

5. Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

Last Week on Oscar Index:  

Killing 'Lincoln' Is All The Rage As Academy Voting Begins

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  • Mr. Jesse says:

    So, after seeing all these fine actresses, its plain the Jennifer Lawrence's performance was the best. So, because across the Atlantic, votes of the Academy are supposed to change their vote to accomodate a) BAFTA voted that way, b) Someone is very old c) Someone's birthday is the day of the Oscar d) peer pressure. And that is a fair way to determine Best Actress. This sounds like a rigged way to do things and doesn't bode well for the Academy, nor Ms. Lawrence, who clearly has support for her acting, just not her age or BAFTA.

    • ethan says:

      I beg to differ. Lawrence was good in Silver Lining but it was not an Oscar worthy performance. Truth is, Riva and Watts gave the best performance among the nominees. Its sad that the Oscars is turning more of a popularity contest instead of recognizing the best performance.

      If Riva wins, its because she was really good in Amour - there is nothing gimmicky about her performance. The fact the she's not even campaigning for the win makes it even more honorable. I think all this hype about Lawrence performance can only be attributed to Harvey Weinstein, who seems to be running a very good campaign and have a very convincing speech ready every time he face an Academy voter.

  • DannyJude says:

    "BAFTA-winner Marion Cotillard went on to win the Oscar without the benefit of a Golden Globe..."

    Not correct - she DID win the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy for La Vie en Rose.

  • Heinz says:

    Riva was always going to win the Bafta. But Lawrence beat her in the Australian awards head to head and for critics awards. Why was her very well telegraphed win at the Bafta an argument for he winning an Oscar? No one can objectively explain why Riva deserves to win, but we are supposed to just go along. Because of her age? Or more to the point because of Lawrence's? Because sophisticates can't stand a young and very popular actress winning? The whole thing smells. One actress has mass appeal, relevance, commercial success and her fair share of critics prizes in a movie people actually saw. One has her share of critics prizes, no appeal, no commercial success and is, saying this as politely as possible, utterly irrelevant. This should be a no doubter but deep down I suspect that the old fogeys in the Academy are desperate not to let Lawrence win and will screw her out of it.

    • ethan says:

      Riva gave a very good performance. Just because Lawrence has mass appeal, relevance, commercial success does not mean she has to win. Its NOT a POPULARITY CONTEST. The Oscars is suppose to be about recognizing the best in the industry. Yes her movie was seen by a lot of people but her performance was not that great. Weinstein must really be running a good campaign and PR to create such hype. Naomi Watts and Riva gave a much better performance than Lawrence. Chastain is actually better than her but with such a controversial film its hurting her chances.

      And even if Riva, as you put it, "One has her share of critics prizes, no appeal, no commercial success and is, saying this as politely as possible, utterly irrelevant.", wins - its because she truly deserve the win. She's not even campaigning to try and influence the voters.

  • Chris says:

    I met some old college pals last weekend. They work in the industry in LA. Each of them has spoken to or knows someone who has changed their ballots in favor for Emmanuelle Riva.

  • Gustavo Cruz says:

    I don't know how much Harvey Weinstein has paid these commenters to come here (and in many other internet websites, to be honest... they are EVERYWHERE) and make such frivolous comments, but I bet it was a lot.
    First, let me adress MR. JESS. I don't know which movie you have seen, but the copy of Silver Linings I watched showed me a role designed for Lawrence to win awards. If you've ever read the book, you'd know that her character is not supposed to be so over the top. She can't control the hysteria and it's just so unconvincing. Every other nominated actress did a better job than her. Look, I like Lawrence, but she needs to develop her skills way more before winning an Oscar. Remember the year we all thought Kate Hudson should have won for Almost Famous (a much better performance in a much better film, btw)? Well, after that, what else has Kate Hudson done? Just stupid films, especially rom-coms. What guarantee do we have that Jennifer Lawrence is not going to go down the same road? Let's wait a while and have her prove she really is a great actress before handing her the golden boy!
    Also, of course the Academy is not going to vote for Emmanuelle Riva because BAFTA said so. The reason BAFTA voted for her (despite her being French and the French and the British don't get along, as we all know...) is because SHE GAVE THE BEST PERFORMANCE. Her age or her birthday have nothing to do with this. In fact, it's a lot like the Academy to deny an old timer an Oscar and instead give it to a "babe". Look at AMPAS history: they always tend to favor the young girls. For them to award Riva would take a lot of COURAGE and hope they have it in them.
    Seriously: which world are you living in where people think Jennifer Lawrence gave the best performance? This is the actress who said "acting is stupid"! Emmanuelle Riva is one of the greats and any actress of nowadays can only dream of having the career she's had and achieving the greatness of talent she has today, at 85. Good luck, Riva. I'm rooting for you! Here's hoping the Academy does the right thing for once 🙂

  • Gustavo Cruz says:

    Now, let's adress HEINZ:
    "Riva was always going to win the Bafta". It's NOT TRUE. You can look up any of the British betting houses online. They will ALL show Riva was number THREE in the bet ranks, behind Lawrence and Chastain. Just because a few pundits online said Riva would win doesn't make her the frontrunner. The British don't really like the French, so for them to award a French actress doesn't happen often. It happens when they think she was actually the best - like this year, or the year Cotillard won.
    Who cares about the Australian awards? I had never even heard of them. Riva won the most broad and important critics group in America: the National Board of America, which is made up of critics from all the other critics goups. That shows who the critics really thought was the best.
    I shouldn't be surprised by your comment at all given how disrespectful you were by calling Riva " utterly irrelevant". Huh??? This is one of the great actresses in world cinema history. just because you never heard of her doesn't mean she irrelevant - instead, it shows how ignorant you are about movies. You should go rent or buy a few DVDs before thinking you know anything about great acting or movies. When all is said and done, Amour will be seen as one of the best movies of 2012, for sure. It will be in most critics' top 10 movies of this decade. People won't remember Silver Linings Playbook in a year.
    "I suspect that the old fogeys in the Academy are desperate not to let Lawrence win and will screw her out of it" Huh??? You are also ignorant about the Academy, it seems. They ALWAYS like to award hot young actresses. They usually care more about who looks better in the Best Actress category than who gives the best performance. Which is why Lawrence has the edge. If they, for some miracle, decide to give the Oscar to Emmanuelle Riva, it would show they were BRAVE and had the COURAGE to go against the establishment for once. Lawrence has Harvey Weinstein on her side. Riva has the best performance. Usually, I would say Weinstein wins against best performances. I hope I'm wrong this year!

    • AD says:

      Wow, good news for you, then, that the critics pick the Oscars right? Get over yourself, Riva IS totally irrelevant and will go back to being totally irrelevant when Lawrence collects her (entirely deserved) Oscar next week.

      • ethan says:

        Are you on Weinstein's payroll? The Academy should really be careful. If there reputation is tarnished. It will forever be tarnish.

    • DannyJude says:

      I wish I could express myself that well. My sentiments, exactly.. I would cut and paste if I could get away with it. (No, I wouldn't) =]

  • Gustavo Cruz says:

    CHRIS, this is GREAT NEWS. Thank you!!!

  • Chase says:

    You think Hathaway "acquitted" herself "nicely" on Between Two Ferns? The only bits worth watching were Lawrence's "off pudding" joke and Adam's "fart tits" delivery. Hathaway should be EMBARRASSED. Her "drunk" was so forced and erased all memories of SNL-Hathaway, who has actually been pretty good. Members of my high school improv troupe played that bit better.

  • DM says:

    I think it is time to remember that there is no RIGHT or WRONG. Everyone is entitled to his or her view on who is best.

    Nevertheless, as a bona fide voter, let me assure you that I had just moments ago voted for Riva. Her performance deserves nothing less than the Oscar. The fact that she is not campaigning simply adds to her charm and passion for her craft. Something that cannot be said of the other candidates who are falling over one another to be seen at this movie premiere, or dinner party or TV show - it just smacks of DESPERATION. Really uncool.

  • wtf? says:

    Emmanuelle Riva was not in Last Year at Marienbad. Nor was her screen breakthrough in 1961. Her first screen appearance and big breakthrough was in 1959. The film was HIiroshima, mon amour (btw like Last Year at Marienbad, directed by Alain Resnais). She won the best actress award at Cannes for that performance. Frankly, anyone who writes that Riva's big breakthrough came two years later for a movie she didn't appear in should probably not be writing for Movieline.

    • Sun says:

      Exactly. Riva was incredible in Hiroshima mor amour (BAFTA nominated also) and she also won the Volpi Cup for Thérése Desqueyroux. Really wonderful actress, and quite a fascinating character...Read the Guardian interview, if you haven't seen it yet.

      I do have to laugh at the conspiracy theories by a few Lawrence uber fans floating around the film sites to explain a possible Lawrence loss...instead of just accepting that the academy may not think it was as good as another performance or that voting bodies have different taste than some critics groups. Lawrence is young, hot, plays in a feel good, easy to digest movie, talented, successful, considered likeable by the masses, and has Weinstein on her side. She's not exactly some poor little underdog here. She's also been campaigning like crazy. My favorite is that they supposedly don't want someone "hot" to win. I know beauty is subjective, but I don't understand how people think Lawrence is more attractive or "hotter" than the following best actress winners in their prime: Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, and Marion Cotillard.

    • Donald Liebenson says:

      That's a little harsh, but that does not diminish my grievous error. Thanks for catching it.

      • wtf? says:

        Sorry, Donald, it was harsh, indeed, and I apologize. We all make mistakes. Recently on another site I posted a long love letter to A Cry in the Dark, praising Bruce Beresford's direction. Well, it wasn't Bruce Beresford's film it was Fred Schepisi's. Me bad! I really did lay into you for no good reason; chock it up to my being a huge fan of Riva's. As it so happens I'm a huge fan of Lawrence's as well. But, I have to say, if I was an AMPAS voter, I'd give it to Riva without a second thought.

  • rob says:

    Saw "Silver Linings Playbook." Guess I'm the only one who thinks schizos shouting is not acting. The producers must have called in every marker they're owed to get that many Oscar noms.

  • In order to predict how the Oscars will be awarded this year, one must think of how a majority of the 6,000 + members of the Academy will vote. This has always worked for me in my many years of predictions on Oscar winners. This year, however, may prove surprising since I am very surprised at Ben Affleck's lack of a director nomination (same goes for Kathryn Bigelow's lack of a nomination).
    Are there currents of maverick voters among the Academy members who are making waves? Is this due to the addition of some newer members who are not attuned to the artistry of the motion picture?
    I am not very sure this year about best actress nor best supporting actor. I even have worries that Tony Kushner's fantastic screenplay may not get the nod. My gut feeling is that "Lincoln" is the best film of the year among the other nominees, along with Spielberg's direction as the best of the year. There is a strong sentiment, however, after many previous awards handed out, that Affleck will be rewarded with best picture. Also, this may not be the year for one film to win a multitude of awards. I, for one, am ready for a tie-vote to occur in one of the best-acting categories. We are due, aren't we, for that to happen?

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