more stars than in the heavens

not in our stars, but in ourselves

The Beautiful People: Emmanuelle Riva

As I watched Hiroshima Mon Amour yesterday, I just could not for the life of me understand how and why Emmanuelle Riva isn’t on every list of the twentieth century’s most gorgeous women.  You know, the list with Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner – not overrated beauties, by any stretch, but constantly cited as the most beautiful.  Where is Mlle Riva?  So Hiroshima is the only of her films I’ve seen thus far (Amour is on my list, but I hear it’s devastating, and I can’t handle devastating right now).  Maybe it’s the only of her films lots of people have seen, so she’s not on as many radars as her more prolific coevals.  Maybe it’s because she never pursued fame as such – she just wanted to do things that interested her.  Whatever the reason, it’s mystifying to me, because LOOK at her.



Those shining eyes, those delicate features, that mouth, those expressions.  She’s not unlike Audrey Hepburn, really; they could be cousins.  Except there seems to be so much more spirit in Riva:







Just as soulful, delicate, and lovely – but with some fire underneath.

For personal reasons, too, I am a great fan of Emmanuelle here.  In short: she reminds me of my own beautiful grandmother, who started out as a knockout and has aged so gracefully that no one could possibly say she isn’t still as beautiful now as she was then.  At least, that’s what I think.







Still so bright and lovely.  I don’t think I look that good now, and I’m about a third of her age.  If I wake up tomorrow looking like Emmanuelle Riva at any stage of her life, I will be a happy girl indeed.

One comment on “The Beautiful People: Emmanuelle Riva

  1. Karen
    April 6, 2013

    I’ve been wanting to see Amour (if it played here at all, it was–sadly–only briefly), and now you’ve given me Hiroshima Mon Amour for my list. I looked over Riva’s filmography, and her “selected filmography” on Wikipedia isn’t very long. I wonder if perhaps she just was never in enough English language films to gain the kind of fame that would put her on a “most beautiful” list. Just looking at these photos, I think she’s stunning–a great face! I always thought Ingrid Bergman was the most beautiful actress… I’ve never been a big Audrey or Marilyn fan, though there’s no denying their attractiveness.

    Apparently Riva was in Risky Business (!) and also Kieslowski’s Blue, which I *think* is my favorite of the Three Colors trilogy (it’s been ages since I’ve seen any of them).

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This entry was posted on April 5, 2013 by and tagged , , .
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