Mia Hansen-Løve

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Mia Hansen-Løve
Mia Hansen-Løve.JPG
Hansen-Løve in 2014
Born (1981-02-05) 5 February 1981 (age 38)
Paris, France
OccupationFilm director
Years active1998–present
Partner(s)Olivier Assayas (2009–2016)

Mia Hansen-Løve (born 5 February 1981) is a French film director, screenwriter, and former actress. She has won several accolades for her work. Her first feature film, All Is Forgiven, won the Louis Delluc Prize for Best First Film in 2007 along with Céline Sciamma's Water Lilies. Hansen-Løve's film Father of My Children won the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.[1] In 2014, Hansen-Løve was awarded the status of Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.[2] In 2016, she won the Silver Bear for Best Director for her film Things to Come at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival, as well as becoming a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Hansen-Løve was born on 5 February 1981 in Paris. Her parents, Laurence and Ole Hansen-Løve, are both philosophy professors who separated when Hansen-Løve was in her 20s.[5][6] In university, Hansen-Løve studied German and minored in Philosophy.[7]

As a teenager, Hansen-Løve enjoyed acting and appeared in Late August, Early September and Sentimental Destinies, both directed by Olivier Assayas. In 2001, Mia Hansen-Løve began studying at the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Paris, but left in 2003 and began writing reviews for French film magazine Cahiers du cinéma until 2005, a job that fueled her desire to make films herself.[8] "What I wanted [as a Cahiers critic] was to build little-by-little a cinematic train of thought," says Hansen-Løve.[9] In regards to her time at Cahiers du cinéma, Hansen-Løve says she is not nostalgic about this period in her life, however useful it was. In addition, she experienced misogyny while there.[10] Meanwhile, she directed several shorts, including Contre-coup (2005), which starred Louis Garrel and Lolita Chammah.[11] In an interview with The Guardian in 2016, Hansen-Løve stated, "When I was in my 20s, I was completely lost in life. Realizing I wanted to make films gave me strength. Because film-making is a perpetual questioning of existence. What is beauty? Why am I living? And I need that, I think, perhaps because of being the daughter of two philosophy teachers.”[5]


Hansen-Løve's debut film, All Is Forgiven, was nominated for a César Award for Best First Feature Film in 2008 by the French Film Academy.[12]

Her second film, Father of My Children, premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section and won the Special Jury Prize. The film was inspired by the suicide of Humbert Balsan, a French actor and film producer who served as an early mentor for Hansen-Løve.[13]

Her third feature was the semi-autobiographical film, Goodbye First Love. Hansen-Løve cast actress Lola Créton after seeing her in Bluebeard.[14] Her partner Olivier Assayas, who was with her at the time of the viewing, subsequently cast Créton in one of his films as well. The film premiered at the 2011 Locarno International Film Festival, where it received a special mention from the Jury.

Hansen-Løve in 2012

In August 2012, TIFF Cinemathique presented a retrospective of Hansen-Løve's work titled "Fathers and Daughters: The Films of Mia Hansen-Løve."

In November 2013, Hansen-Løve began filming on Eden, an autobiographical drama about a young man named Paul who discovers the burgeoning French house music scene during the early 90s. The film was inspired and co-written by her brother Sven, who had been part of the 90s club scene as a DJ. Hansen-Løve went through multiple producers while trying to make the film, as obtaining the rights to the music she wanted to use was both time-consuming and expensive. Actors Greta Gerwig and Brady Corbet starred in the film, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.[15][16]

During promotion for Eden, Hansen-Løve announced that her next film, Things to Come (L'Avenir), would star Isabelle Huppert as a philosophy teacher whose seemingly perfect life begins to fall apart when her husband leaves her and her children move away from home.[17] Hansen-Løve cited Eric Rohmer's The Green Ray as the "one film [she] couldn't help thinking of when writing Things to Come" because of the similarities between the film's themes and their central female characters.[18] The film was completed in 2016 and premiered in competition at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival where Hansen-Løve won the Silver Bear for Best Director.[19][20]

In September 2018, Hansen-Løve premiered Maya at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival as a part of the Special Presentations section.[21]

In May 2017, it was announced that Hansen-Løve would be making her English-language debut with Bergman Island.[22] Set on the Swedish island of Fårö, the film illustrates an American filmmaking couple who retreat to the island that inspired the famous director, [Ingmar] Bergman, where they reside for the summer to each write screenplays for their upcoming films.[23] The film was set to star Greta Gerwig, Mia Wasikowska, Anders Danielsen Lie, and John Turturro, but in August 2018, it was announced that Vicky Krieps would replace Gerwig and Turturro would no longer star in the film.[22][24] Production began in August 2018.[25]

In addition to being a notable filmmaker, Hansen-Løve is also a screenwriter, having written the screenplays for all of her films. "I write all films by myself," says Hansen-Løve. "I really try to close a door and go inside myself to search for my own truth. It would be a limitation to stick to those cineastes that I look up to. What I admire in them is precisely their sense of independence, how they created their own language and how they plunged into themselves to make their own films."[26]

Style and themes[edit]

Hansen-Løve's films mainly revolve around familial and/or romantic relationships and their effects.[27] Eden, Father of My Children, and Things to Come all draw from important persons or events in Hansen-Løve's life, however she has stated that while all her films are personal, they’re not autobiographical.[28] Time Out writer Dave Calhoun describes Hansen-Løve's films as "intimate, realist, free of melodrama. They have a lightness of touch and yet feel wise."[29] Hansen-Løve's brother, Sven, claims that the director "prides herself on trueness and realism and authenticity."[30] Rather than relying on shocking or dramatic events, Hansen-Løve rests her narratives on subtle emotional shifts; climatic moments occur naturally and with no prior indication.

Common themes found in Hansen-Løve's films are personal crisis, desire, and existentialism.[31][32] In addition, her films tend to touch upon the generational effects of France's political and social history.[7] Hansen-Løve's films have been compared to those of French auteur Eric Rohmer, whose films such as The Green Ray are said to be influential to Hansen-Løve.[33][34]

Hansen-Løve has stated that she sees All Is Forgiven, Father of My Children, and Goodbye First Love as a loose trilogy about the transformations the coincide with the transition to adulthood. “It’s not accidental that the daughters are all 15, 16, or 17 for the majority of each film,” she indicates. “It’s not only about the relationship between fathers and daughters, it’s about that particular age where you separate from your family and become an adult.”[35]

Personal life[edit]

Hansen-Løve was in a relationship with director Olivier Assayas, who directed her in the films Late August, Early September and Sentimental Destinies, from 2002 to 2017.[36] Though it was widely assumed they were married Hansen-Løve revealed after they split that they never had been.[37][38] Together they have a daughter named Vicky, born in 2009.[39]

Hansen-Løve is the younger sister of Sven Hansen-Løve, who was a successful DJ in the 90s and who was the inspiration and co-writer for her film Eden.[40]

Her cousin, Igor Hansen-Løve, is a L’Express journalist. He had a small role in her 2009 film Father of My Children.[41]


As director/screenwriter[edit]

Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Screenwriter
2003 Après mûre réflexion Yes Yes Short film
2004 Un pur esprit Yes Short film
2005 Offre Spéciale Yes Short film
2005 Contre-coup Yes Short film
2005 Laisse passer l’été Yes Short film
2005 Platonov, la nuit est belle Yes Short film
2007 All Is Forgiven Yes Yes Louis Delluc Prize for Best First Film
Nominated—Caméra d'Or (2007 Cannes Film Festival)
Nominated—César Award for Best First Feature Film
2009 Father of My Children Yes Yes Un Certain Regard - Special Jury Prize (2009 Cannes Film Festival)
Lumières Award for Best Screenplay

Nominated - Un Certain Regard

2011 Goodbye First Love Yes Yes Locarno International Film Festival - Special Mention

Nominated—Golden Leopard

2014 Eden Yes Yes Nominated—Golden Shell (San Sebastián International Film Festival)
2016 Things to Come Yes Yes Silver Bear for Best Director
Nominated—Golden Bear
Nominated—Louis Delluc Prize
2018 Maya[42] Yes Yes
2020 Bergman Island[22] Yes Yes

As actress[edit]

Year Title Role
1998 Late August, Early September Véra
2000 Sentimental Destinies Aline

Further reading[edit]

  • Ince, Kate. The Body and the Screen: Female Subjectivities in Contemporary Women’s Cinema. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017. ISBN 978-1-62356-581-7.
  • Palmer, Tim. "Contemporary Feminine French Cinema and Lucile Hadzihalilovic's 'Innocence'." The French Review 83, no. 2 (2009): 316-27.
  • Porton, Richard. "A Death in the Family: An Interview with Mia Hansen-Løve." Cineaste: America's Leading Magazine on the Art and Politics of the Cinema 35, no. 3 (2010): 10-14.
  • Porton, Richard. "Love, Work and Radical Ideals: An Interview with Mia Hansen-Løve." Cineaste: America's Leading Magazine on the Art and Politics of the Cinema 42, no. 2 (2017): 24-27.
  • Wilson, Emma. "Precarious Lives: On Girls in Mia Hansen-Løve and Others." Studies in French Cinema 12, no. 3 (2012): 273-284.


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Father of My Children". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Nomination dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres janvier 2014". Ministry of Culture (France). 18 March 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Prizes of the International Jury". Berlinale. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  4. ^ "NEW MEMBERS 2016: ACADEMY INVITES 683 TO MEMBERSHIP". Oscars. 29 June 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b Brooks, Xan (30 August 2016). "Mia Hansen-Løve: 'Oh no, please don't touch the cat!'". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Laurence Hansen-Love". Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  7. ^ a b Ganjavie, Amir (18 December 2016). "Can Philosophy Save Your Life? An Interview with Mia Hansen-Løve". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  8. ^ Pallister, Janis L.; Hottell, Ruth A. (2011). Noteworthy Francophone Women Directors: A Sequel. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 9781611474435.
  9. ^ Palmer, Tim (2011). Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press. p. 44. ISBN 9780819570000.
  10. ^ Porton, Richard (Summer 2010). "A Death in the Family: An Interview with Mia Hansen-Løve". Cineaste: 10–14 – via JSTOR.
  11. ^ "Mia Hansen-Løve". Canal+.
  12. ^ Palmer, Tim (2011). Brutal Intimacy: Analyzing Contemporary French Cinema, Wesleyan University Press, Middleton CT. ISBN 0-8195-6827-9.
  13. ^ Romeny, Johnathan. (March 2010). "Under Pressure." Sight and Sound. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  14. ^ Solomons, Jason. "Mia Hansen-Løve: the broken heart that made me a film-maker". Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  15. ^ Raup, Jordan (22 July 2014). "TIFF 2014 Line-Up Includes 'The Imitation Game,' 'Eden,' 'While We're Young,' 'Pasolini,' and More". Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  16. ^ Brock, Ben. "Mia Hansen-Love Helming Dance World Saga 'Eden' Starring Brady Corbet and Greta Gerwig". IndieWire. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  17. ^ Ehrlich, David. "Interview: Mia Hansen-Løve Talks 'Eden,' Daft Punk, French Disco & Her Next Film 'The Future'". Retrieved 7 February 2015.
  18. ^ "MIA HANSEN-LOVE Inspired by Rohmer | TIFF 2016". Youtube. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  19. ^ Raup, Jordan. "New Films From Mia Hansen-Løve, Thomas Vinterberg, Lav Diaz, and More Will Premiere at Berlin 2016". Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  20. ^ Roxborough, Scott. "Berlin Film Festival: The Winners List". Retrieved 20 February 2016.
  21. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (24 July 2018). "Toronto Film Festival Lineup: 'Beautiful Boy', 'Ben Is Back', 'If Beale Street Could Talk', 'Widows' Among World Premieres". Deadline. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  22. ^ a b c Erbland, Kate (18 May 2017). "Mia Hansen-Løve Lines Up Greta Gerwig, Mia Wasikowska and John Turturro for 'Bergman Island'". Indiewire. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  23. ^ Lemercier, Fabien (21 June 2018). "Céline Sciamma's "Portrait de la jeune fille en feu" to be backed by Arte France Cinéma". Cineuropa. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  24. ^ Raup, Jordan (6 August 2018). "Vicky Krieps Replaces Greta Gerwig in Mia Hansen-Løve's 'Bergman Island'". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  25. ^ "The production of the french/swedish/belgian film Bergman island is now on! Fårö is the Location". Instagram. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  26. ^ Pulman-Jones, Madeleine (2 March 2018). "The considered cinema of Mia Hansen-Løve". Varsity. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  27. ^ Felsenthal, Julia (2 December 2016). "Mia Hansen-Løve on Mining Her Mother's Life in Things to Come". Vogue. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  28. ^ Barlow, Helen (25 April 2017). "Mia Hansen-Løve gets personal in 'Things to Come'". Special Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  29. ^ Calhoun, Dave. "Mia Hansen-Løve Interview". Time Out. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  30. ^ Jenkins, Dave (24 July 2015). "Meet Sven Hansen-Løve: The True Story Behind the Moive Eden". UKF. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  31. ^ Palmer, Daniel (11 September 2016). "Things to Come directed by Mia Hansen-Løve". The State of the Arts. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  32. ^ Fragoso, Sam (10 October 2016). "French Filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve On Desire And Pain". Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  33. ^ "MIA HANSEN-LOVE Inspired by Rohmer | TIFF 2016". Youtube. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  34. ^ Pulman-Jones, Madeleine (2 March 2018). "The considered cinema of Mia Hansen-Løve". Varsity. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  35. ^ Carrington, Julian (22 August 2012). "Lightbox Mini-Retrospective a Celebration of Young Løve". Torontoist. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  36. ^ Morris, Octavia (27 June 2010). "The film that changed my life: Mia Hansen-Løve". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2010.
  37. ^ "Things to Come: review and interview with Mia Hansen-Løve". 28 April 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017.
  38. ^ Brooks, Xan (30 August 2016). "Mia Hansen-Løve: 'Oh no, please don't touch the cat!'". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  39. ^ Solomons, Jason (29 April 2012). "Mia Hansen-Løve: the broken heart that made me a film-maker". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  40. ^ Kinos-Goodin, Jesse (11 September 2014). "TIFF 2014: Daft Punk's surprising role in French house music movie Eden". Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  41. ^ Abela, Emmanuel. "Mia Hansen-Løve, le fil de la transmission". Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  42. ^ Hansen-Løve, Mia, Maya, Suzan Anbeh, Judith Chemla, Roman Kolinka, retrieved 13 April 2018

External links[edit]