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How Much Of A Chance Did Emanuelle Riva Actually Have Of Winning 5 Years Ago?

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  • Joe Burns
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    Five years ago, I was on the Emanuelle Riva train in the Best Actress category, underestimating Lawrence’s chances and perhaps more so, overestimating Riva’s. Lawrence’s golden girl status was something I didn’t put enough weight in at the time and arguably I was right- it wasn’t until her Oscar win that she really became a huge star. And Chastain also seemed quite formidable, with her also having received a prior Oscar nomination as well as being a breakout star. This led me to believe that they would split the vote, allowing Riva to take the Oscar- despite the foreign language barrier, her film was able to gain surprise Oscar nominations for BP and BD as well as making the cut for Best Original Screenplay. These nominations indicated powerful passion for the film which seemed to help Riva’s chances a lot, especially compared to Chastain whose film was snubbed of Best Director and lost all chances at winning Best Picture due to all the controversy surrounding it’s content. Even with Lawrence’s SAG win, I just didn’t see a huge amount of support for her or Chastain and thought with Riva’s BAFTA win over both of them, she’d be able to pull a Marion Cotillard and win the Oscar. I was wrong. I forgot that Oscar goes for showier performances like Lawrence’s , not awarding restrained performances as much as they did in the past . This of course meant that Riva could never have been another Marion Cotillard, because Cotillard was giving an extremely baity performance playing a real person, which helped her defeat the subtle nature of Julie Christie’s portrayal of an Alzheimer’s patient, which ironically parallel’s Riva’s performance much more then Cotillard’s. Another thing Lawrence(and Cotillard) had was the babe factor- Riva lacked the glamorous card when she was nominated and was too unknown in the U.S to be renowned for her previous works, things that 60 plus contenders Julie Christie, Isabelle Hupert, and Helen Mirren had in their favor.

    Her loss has led me to feel in the past that Riva may have been more of a longshot, probably never being able to win the Oscar, but this analysis has convinced me otherwise for the reasons posted above. Hell, even Tom, who was one of the most dismissive of Riva’s chances and of anybody predicting her to win the Oscar, has stated that she could have possibly won if there had been a few more weeks left to vote. What do you guys think? Do you think she was close or never had a chance? Do you think she came in second? If not, then who did? Who did you predict at the time? At the time, what did you think? Did you think Lawrence had it in the bag or that Riva or Chastain had a strong chance at upsetting her on Oscar night?

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    Miles
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    I wasn’t following the Oscars at all 5 years ago so take my analysis with a grain of salt.

    From what I can gather, this race was very much Chastain v. Lawrence before the BAFTAs. Chastain was an early frontrunner, winning CC, but didn’t have the chance to defeat Lawrence at the Globes because they were in different categories. Then Chastain’s film was engulfed in controversy and Bigelow missed a Directing nom and her momentum was halted altogether by Lawrence’s SAG win.

    From then on Lawrence was in a pretty good position to win the Oscar. She was slowly becoming a superstar with THG and X Men, but she really needed the BAFTA win to solidify her frontrunner status. Riva got some late breaking momentum that win, causing people to start predicting her. The Oscars were on her birthday and her film overperformed in nominations. I think she was a realistic threat at the end. I agree that had the Oscars come later, she was in a good position to win.

    Had it been Riva who won the CC and GG instead of Chastain this would have been a different story. Riva had a lot more going for her on paper than Chastain because of the nature of their films and performances. Lawrence still could have prevailed with her SAG and GG(C) win but I think Riva would have taken it under those circumstances.

    What helped Lawrence win was the fact that Chastain was strong at the beginning until she wasn’t. And then by the time Riva was gaining momentum, it was Oscars night and Lawrence never faltered. That and the fact that her film was the most likely out of the three to win Picture and there were acting nominations in all four categories and she was the “it” girl at the time. Multiple factors contributed to Lawrence’s win, and while Riva could have won realistically her timing didn’t put her in a position to prevail on Oscar night.

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    Joe Burns
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    #1202434500

    I wasn’t following the Oscars at all 5 years ago so take my analysis with a grain of salt.

    From what I can gather, this race was very much Chastain v. Lawrence before the BAFTAs. Chastain was an early frontrunner, winning CC, but didn’t have the chance to defeat Lawrence at the Globes because they were in different categories. Then Chastain’s film was engulfed in controversy and Bigelow missed a Directing nom and her momentum was halted altogether by Lawrence’s SAG win.

    From then on Lawrence was in a pretty good position to win the Oscar. She was slowly becoming a superstar with THG and X Men, but she really needed the BAFTA win to solidify her frontrunner status. Riva got some late breaking momentum that win, causing people to start predicting her. The Oscars were on her birthday and her film overperformed in nominations. I think she was a realistic threat at the end. I agree that had the Oscars come later, she was in a good position to win.

    Had it been Riva who won the CC and GG instead of Chastain this would have been a different story. Riva had a lot more going for her on paper than Chastain because of the nature of their films and performances. Lawrence still could have prevailed with her SAG and GG(C) win but I think Riva would have taken it under those circumstances.

    What helped Lawrence win was the fact that Chastain was strong at the beginning until she wasn’t. And then by the time Riva was gaining momentum, it was Oscars night and Lawrence never faltered. That and the fact that her film was the most likely out of the three to win Picture and there were acting nominations in all four categories and she was the “it” girl at the time. Multiple factors contributed to Lawrence’s win, and while Riva could have won realistically her timing didn’t put her in a position to prevail on Oscar night.

    That’s a great analysis Miles Allen! I would say though that Riva was being buzzed about before the BAFTA’s though, although yes Chastain and Lawrence were widely believed to be the favorites.

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    RobertPius
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    I think Miles covered it pretty well.

    The other factors I heard was that some people didn’t want to watch the film thinking it would be too depressing and Riva wasn’t well known at all to most Americans so there wasn’t the feeling of finally getting to award some older actress who’d never won such as with Jessica Tandy.

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    Riley
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    #1202434580

    I never predicted that Riva would take down Lawrence, but anyone who can win BAFTA is certainly in it.

    "I don't even believe in god, but I'm going to thank her tonight."

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    EmmyWinner
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    #1202434585

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    Robert Russaw
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    #1202434590

    So much of winning an Oscar deals with not only performance, but politics as well. Many felt that Riva gave the best performance in the category, but mostly everyone is correct-some people found the performance hard to watch, Riva’s superb performance notwithstanding. That gave rise to Lawrence, whose performance was praised, but she was younger and more popular, characteristics we have to admit have a strong part in the Best Actress race.

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    M: The Original
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    #1202434593

    On paper Lawerance’s true rival was Chastain. Every who insist to the contrary only has the BAFTA loss to Riva as their smoking gun. Whatever said Streep.

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    unown
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    I wasnt following the awards that year so can someone enlighten me.

    the only real question i have is did SOMEBODY from Jlaw’s production company start the smear campaign against Chastain? i mean look at chastain in the segment she looked so hopeful. poor thing

     

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    AndMore
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    I feel like a lot of voters didn’t start “discovering” Amour until the end of voting/after BAFTA. I think if the ceremony/voting period was pushed back a few weeks, Riva could have prevailed. There was definitely a lot of support for her win at the time. Also, I would say that Riva’s buzz was high after the critics wins, but fell after getting snubbed at SAG + GG. Then, it kicked back in post-BAFTA’s, like Miles said.

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    kbfr12
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    Personally, 2012 was the first year I followed the Oscar race, so my perspective was a bit limited. I agree with Miles that the narrative was basically Chastain slightly over Lawrence, before it became about Lawrence’s ongoing momentum. Riva was always the “third,” or so it seemed to me.

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    Joe Burns
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    #1202434639

    I wasnt following the awards that year so can someone enlighten me.

    the only real question i have is did SOMEBODY from Jlaw’s production company start the smear campaign against Chastain? i mean look at chastain in the segment she looked so hopeful. poor thing

    What smear campaign? I don’t believe there was any personal smear campaign against her at the time.

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    RobertPius
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    The campaign was more against the film itself not Chastain. There were a bunch of actors like Martin Sheen I think who said the film was endorsing torture. It wasn’t like an organized thing just a few people speaking out that went viral.

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    GusCruz
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    I am definitely not ready to go back those painful weeks, especially now that she’s gone, and I can’t believe it’s been 5 years already. Where’s scottferguson when you need him.

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    Teridax
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    Why is this thread still going? Miles Allen summed it up perfectly in my opinion.

    Okay, my thoughts: Emanuelle Riva possibly could have caught up but she didn’t get enough momentum in time to overtake the J-Law train, long story short. It would have been odd seeing Riva win while her Amour co-star Jean Louis Trintignant wasn’t even nominated. Meanwhile Silver Linings Playbook was nominated in all 4 acting categories. Still, American Hustle being nominated in all 4 didn’t help out Lawrence next year. I’m personally happy she won for Silver Linings Playbook so that she didn’t win next year for her IMO inferior American Hustle work. I think the biggest reason she won at Bafta for Hustle was because voters of that group felt they “owed her one” for her Silver Linings loss the previous year. Lupita got ROBBED by Bafta for “12 Years a Slave,” and some year they will have to make it up to her. She just needs another powerful critically acclaimed performance.

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