Since the middle of the 2000s, Emma Stone has seen a string of successes, and her best films show off her wide range. While Stone is a superb comedy actor, she turned into more dramatic roles in the 2010s, the majority of which were major award contenders and winners. After a few brief TV roles, Stone had her debut in the smash adolescent comedies Easy A. The Favourite and Birdman, however, are not only generic Oscar contenders; rather, movies are genuinely inventive, singular, offbeat, and sarcastic depictions of historical tragedies and Hollywood performers. In her acting career, Stone has made some undoubtedly risky decisions that have greatly rewarded her.
Emma Stone’s return for Cruella 2 shows that she still has time for franchises, but her performance in the first film also demonstrated her ability to elevate any character. It’s only a matter of time before Stone wins another Academy Award for Best Actress; in addition, she has twice been nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category. She is still in the early stages of her career despite having a tonne of instantly great films to her credit. Stone is one of the most adaptable performers working in Hollywood today, appearing in comedies, historical dramas, musicals, and the occasional superhero film. Here is a list of her top films.
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Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
In Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, one of the most enjoyable and ambitious art films of the 2010s, Michael Keaton delivered the performance of the decade. The film follows a man who is unable to ignore his connection to a superhero he played decades before in a humorous look at Hollywood actors. While Keaton’s character is loosely based on actual life because he portrayed Batman in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Emma Stone’s character is wholly fictional and plays the man’s drug addict son beautifully. Edward Norton, who is infamous for being difficult to deal with, delightfully portrays an exaggerated version of himself in the film (via The Things).
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
Another incredibly sophisticated romantic comedy that is equally as smart as it is entertaining is Crazy, Stupid, Love. The film has multiple plot lines that chronicle the relationships—or lack thereof—of many different characters, and they all come together in such an embarrassing fashion. In addition to the genre-defyingly mortifying story twist, this feel-good rom-com is notable for the chemistry between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. They appeared in three films together, the first of which, the hilarious Crazy, Stupid, Love, cemented their reputation as one of the best on-screen couples of the decade.
Although it’s become popular to humanise villains in their own movies, it’s difficult to do so with Cruella de Vil. No one asked for an origin narrative about a woman who skins dogs for a livelihood. Cruella was a great blockbuster despite having a contentious release for Disney, and while it may not have performed well at the box office (according to Box Office Mojo), it is only due of its Disney+ day-and-date release. The focus is on the character’s time in the fashion industry in Emma Stone’s portrayal of the role, and it results in a hilarious and incredibly stylish recreation of Cruella.
Easy A (2010)
Emma Stone soon established herself as the go-to performer for the love interest in teen comedies after Superbad and Zombieland, a horror-comedy that leaned heavily on coming-of-age clichés. But in 2010, she played the lead in her own coming-of-age comedy, Easy A, which surprised audiences by earning $75 million on a $8 million budget (via Box Office Mojo). The movie centres on Olive, a high school student played by Stone who must contend with a damaging rumour spread about her. Even though it wears its John Hughes influences on its sleeve, Easy A is a sophisticated teen film that is smarter than even her legendary breakthrough, Superbad.
La La Land (2016)
Emma Stone might not have won an Oscar if Emma Watson hadn’t declined the part of Mia Dolan in La La Land. A visually stunning musical about Hollywood, La La Land reunites Stone and Gosling on screen with their incomparable connection. For her role as Mia, Stone earned an Academy Award, undoubtedly for her singing, dancing, and dramatic acting, which reaches a peak with her emotional rendition of “Audition.” La La Land is by far the best musical film that has been released in recent years, thanks to its jaw-dropping choreography, jazz score, and millions of Spotify listens.
Superbad, one of the most significant comedies of the 2000s, was certainly Stone’s film debut, and it provided her more visibility than she could have imagined. It’s uncommon for an actor to have such a significant role in their first film appearance. The genre was completely changed by Superbad. Being a fantastic representation of teenagers growing up in the 2000s, it is the most relatable coming-of-age film of that era. It was also a huge box office success, earning $170 million globally (via Box Office Mojo). That’s significant considering that Superbad took ten years to make because the producers didn’t feel the script matched the mould of studio comedies.
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
A lot of loose ends were left after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as a result of the franchise’s generally negative response, which led to the cancellation of The Amazing Spider-Man 3. However, there are many positive aspects in the first film in the reboot series, including Andrew Garfield’s more animated and animated portrayal of Peter Parker, as well as the CGI, which is far better than in filmmaker Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. The relationship between Andrew Garfield’s Peter and Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey, on the other hand, serves as the movie’s real centre of gravity. The performers’ relationship improved the film and added a romanticism that the earlier Spider-Man movies lacked.
The Favourite (2019)
Period dramas have a bad reputation and there are standards for how they should appear and sound, but The Favourite defies all of those expectations. The actual story of Queen Anne would be a sombre depiction of her reign in the early 1700s under any other director, but with the eccentric director Yorgos Lanthimos in charge, it becomes a sarcastic black comedy with duchesses and lords in make-up calling each other the c-word. For her distinctive depiction of Queen Anne, Olivia Colman rightfully won the Oscar, and it was enjoyable to watch Emma Stone, who was also nominated, take on the role of a cunning antagonist.
The Help (2011)
The Help, which received Emma Stone’s maiden Academy Award nomination, was a tremendous box office triumph and another unexpected hit, earning $216 million (via Box Office Mojo). Stone plays a journalist who tries to uncover the racism the two Black maids experience at work in the civil rights movement in Mississippi. The film follows the two Black maids. Some actors have regretted being in The Help ever since it was released. Viola Davis told Vanity Fair that she felt like she had “betrayed myself and my people” because of the white saviour narrative, despite the fact that she was such an Oscars favourite and Octavia Spencer even took home the award for Best Supporting Actress.
However, nothing will compare to the original. Zombieland already had a legacy sequel in 2019, Zombieland: Double Tap, and Zombieland 3 is also in the works. Reuben Fleischer, the film’s director, has a knack for making even mundane scenes—like a man eating a Twinkie—emotionally resonant. The result is a wonderful blend of comedy, action, horror, and even drama. However, what makes it stand out is the chemistry that Stone and her co-stars have because they actually feel like a broken family. It can be challenging to pull off a horror-comedy, but Zombieland was the best there has been in the category since Shaun of the Dead.
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