Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty; Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty
Originally posted 01/11/2013 12:00PM
Amid the excitement over Thursday's announcement of the Oscar race, it was widely noted that this year brings the eldest Best Actress nominee in the 85-year history of the Academy Awards – as well as the youngest.
They are French actress Emmanuelle Riva, star of the French-language German-Austrian production Amour, who will turn 86 on Oscar day, Feb. 24, and a 9-year-old newcomer from Houma, Louisiana, Quvenzhané Wallis, star of the $1.8 million independent film Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Wallis is so young, in fact, that she had to wait until school was over on Thursday before she was able release a comment about how she felt to be nominated.
Like their ages, the performances of these two remarkable actresses are a study in stark contrasts.
Riva, a veteran of more than 70 European movies, including director Alain Resnais's 1959 New Wave classic Hiroshima Mon Amour (her breakthrough role), plays the aged Anne, a retired music teacher in decline after a stroke. Because of her infirmity, Anne's personality slowly fades away before the eyes of the audience and her screen husband (Jean-Louis Trintignant, in an equally breathtaking performance).