Emma Stone won her first Academy Award for her grounded but absorbing performance in La La Land, after previously being nominated for her turn in Birdman. Earlier in the show while introducing John Legend’s performance of the film’s nominated songs, she shouted out her “aunt that lives in Paris.” The scene she referenced was not only a major turning point in the movie and an emotional gut punch, but almost certainly the reason she is bringing home a little gold statuette this year. Her acting in the scene is one of the highlights of her career and is deserving of all the attention she has garnered.
She was, as could only be expected, incredibly excited about the win but didn’t deign to be faux-surprised about it, seeing as this had been predicted for months at this point. In fact, it would have been a major upset if Stone didn’t take home the gold here. Although she is young, Stone has proven multiple times already that her acting abilities are some of the best of her generation. Just because her performance is another piece of the larger La La Land haul of wins doesn’t mean it should be overlooked as just a side effect of the movie’s larger success. Stone deserves the award on its own merits, and with any luck she will be nominated for many more after this win.