From Easy A to Poor Things: The Essential Emma Stone Films You Must Watch


From her enchanting performance in the musical masterpiece 'La La Land' to her latest triumph in 'Poor Things,' Emma Stone has consistently captivated audiences with her charisma, wit, and the ability to seamlessly transition between genres.

In this curated list of Emma Stone's top 8 films, we invite you to explore the diverse facets of her acting prowess. Whether you're a fan of romantic comedies, historical dramas, or thought-provoking narratives, Emma Stone has something special for everyone.

Join us on a journey through the lens of this Oscar-winning actress as we revisit iconic roles in films like 'Easy A' and 'The Favourite.' Each movie on this list reflects not only Emma Stone's undeniable talent but also her ability to bring depth and authenticity to every character she portrays. Enjoy the magic of Emma Stone on the silver screen!

Comment your favourites. Bookmark to watch later and do share. Happy Surfing.

1. La La Land (2016)

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Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Music

My Take:

"La La Land" (2016), directed by Damien Chazelle, is a mesmerizing ode to dreams and love in the bustling world of modern Hollywood. The film follows aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz enthusiast Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) as they navigate the challenges of pursuing their passions while falling deeply in love.

“So bring on the rebels, the ripples from pebbles, the painters, and poets, and plays, and here’s to the fools who dream.”

Chazelle's commitment to preserving the film's jazz-centric theme and bittersweet ending, despite initial studio resistance, resulted in an authentic and harmonious blend of classic movie magic and contemporary narrative. The script celebrates the passions that drive people, creating a relatable and emotionally resonant experience. Homages to classic films add layers of depth for cinephiles.

Chazelle's masterful direction, featuring rhythmic cinematography and vibrant colors shot on celluloid film, captures audiences with continuous, uncut sequences. The chemistry between Gosling and Stone, coupled with their invested performances, breathes life into Mia and Sebastian's relatable journey. The musical score, with melancholy melodies and upbeat tunes, enhances the storytelling, creating an immersive experience.

"La La Land" not only captivates with its romantic narrative but also achieved unparalleled success, breaking records with 14 Oscar nominations and securing multiple wins. Here’s to the hearts that love movies. Here’s to ones who romanticize filmmaking, lusted for cinematography, love-struck by music score. More than that, here is the film for people with passion and dreams.

2. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

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Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton
Genre: Comedy, Drama

My Take:

"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" (2014) is a spectacular journey into the inner workings of the showbiz psyche. Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, the movie takes us through the tumultuous life of Riggan Thomson, a former celebrity trying to revive his career through a daring theater production. Michael Keaton, in a role that earned him numerous accolades, brilliantly portrays Riggan's struggle with his alter ego, the titular Birdman, in this psychological drama intertwined with elements of satire and dark comedy.

Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.

What sets "Birdman" apart is its unique filming approach. Carefully rehearsed and shot in sequence, the movie boasts an astonishing editing feat, with only sixteen visible cuts throughout the entire film. The two-month production, including rehearsals, showcases the dedication of the cast and crew. Michael Keaton, in an interview, declared it the most challenging project of his career, emphasizing the vast dissimilarity between himself and the complex character of Riggan.

The cinematography in "Birdman" is a triumph on every creative level. The one-shot technique employed not only inspired numerous films but also served as a testament to the exhilarating originality of this cinematic masterpiece. The seamless flow of the camera mirrors the interconnectedness of the story, characters, and even the concept of time and space within the film. It's a cinematic blast that challenges conventional storytelling and captivates the audience from start to finish.

"Birdman" achieved an impressive feat at the Oscars, winning four prestigious awards. The movie's success goes beyond the awards, as it has left an indelible mark on the film industry, inspiring filmmakers to push boundaries and experiment with innovative techniques. Beyond its technical achievements, "Birdman" delves into themes of midlife crisis, the pursuit of artistic validation, and the internal struggles of those in the spotlight. This darkly comedic exploration of the human psyche in the realm of showbiz is a testament to the power of creativity and originality in filmmaking.

3. Poor things (2023)

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Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo, Willem Dafoe
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

My Take:

"Poor Things" (2023) is a cinematic marvel, a feminist Frankenstein comedy that delves into the absurd with a satirical, scabrous touch. Yorgos Lanthimos, the maestro behind this masterpiece, has once again crafted a film that defies convention. The narrative centers on Bella Baxter, played with mesmerizing finesse by Emma Stone, a Victorian woman crudely resurrected by the eccentric scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter, portrayed by Willem Dafoe. What follows is a captivating odyssey of self-discovery and sexual liberation, peppered with dark humor and philosophical undertones.

The film's brilliance lies not only in its narrative but in the audacious performances of the cast. Emma Stone's portrayal of Bella is nothing short of a revelation. From her childlike innocence to the boldness of a sexually liberated woman, Stone navigates the character's evolution with unmatched precision. Mark Ruffalo, as the debauched lawyer Duncan Wedderburn, adds a layer of humor and charisma that elevates the film's comedic elements.

Lanthimos's visual storytelling is a feast for the eyes. Cinematographer Robbie Ryan masterfully captures the evolution of Bella's character through shifts in color and texture. The transition from grainy black and white to lush, vibrant colors mirrors Bella's journey from naivety to self-possession. The film's production design, led by Shona Heath and James Price, deserves accolades for its imaginative recreation of historical settings with a surreal twist.

The film's dialogue, penned by Tony McNamara, is a rhythmic poetry that evolves along with Bella's intellectual awakening. The intentional disjointedness at the beginning gives way to more florid expressions as Bella's intelligence flourishes. The language itself becomes a character, mirroring Bella's journey from a childlike state to a woman asserting her newfound power.

"Poor Things" not only entertains but also engages with themes of autonomy, liberation, and the awkwardness of forging genuine human connections. Lanthimos seems to revel in depicting extreme behaviour against the backdrop of pristine settings, a conflict that underscores the messy truth of humanity. It's a rare gem that seamlessly blends humor, satire, and philosophical musings.

4. The Help (2011)

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Director: Tate Taylor
Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer
Genre: Drama

My Take

"The Help" (2011) unfolds a poignant tale set against the backdrop of racial tension in 1960s Mississippi. Adapted from Kathryn Stockett's novel, the film follows Skeeter Phelan, an expectant mother and aspiring writer, as she embarks on a journey to expose the untold stories of African American maids. The narrative explores themes of racism, friendship, and civil rights, portraying the struggles of women in a society defined by racial hatred.

Interestingly, Kathryn Stockett's book faced adversity before reaching the big screen. Rejected 60 times, the novel eventually became a New York Times best-seller, spending 103 weeks on the list, including six at Number 1. This triumph is reflected in the film's star-studded cast, featuring seven Oscar winners and two nominees, a testament to the project's enduring appeal and the powerful storytelling it champions.

"The Help" is not just a serious exploration of racial issues; it also weaves in a saucy and humorous side, creating a nuanced narrative that balances heartbreak and humor. It serves as a mirror to society's past, inviting reflection on the progress made in addressing racial inequalities. The film's impact extends beyond its runtime, sparking conversations about race, friendship, and the pursuit of justice. It shines as a refreshing and exhilarating gift, working its magic as a consummate tear-jerker with a stellar cast.

5. The Favourite (2018)

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Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz
Genre: Biography, Comedy, Drama

My Take: 

In "The Favourite," we are transported to the intrigue-laden court of Queen Anne in the 18th century, where power dynamics weave a complex tapestry among the queen and her confidantes, Sarah Churchill and Abigail Masham. This historical drama explores the nuances of female rivalry, politics, and the shifting sands of influence within the royal court.

Queen Anne, portrayed with brilliance by Olivia Colman, navigates the treacherous waters of power with her confidantes, played by Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone. Weisz and Stone deliver exceptional performances, their characters engaging in a dance of wit and cunning that mirrors the cutthroat politics of the time. Colman, earning an Oscar for her role, captures the temperamental essence of the queen with equal finesse.

The film delves into the social stratification of the era, as Abigail, initially a lowly maid, rises through the ranks of the court. Against the backdrop of sumptuous palace interiors and sprawling landscapes, the visuals enhance the grandeur of the characters' political machinations.

While "The Favourite" does not shy away from portraying the harsh realities of the 18th century, such as the toll of childbirth and corporal punishment, it does so with a delicate balance of humor and engagement, avoiding the trivialization of serious issues. Visually stunning and bolstered by a stellar cast, "The Favourite" stands as an entertaining movie of the year with wit, humor, and intelligence.

6. Easy A (2010)

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Director: Will Gluck
Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

My Take:

"Easy A" (2010) catapults us into the quirky world of high school, where Olive Penderghast, played by Emma Stone, takes center stage. The film revolves around a seemingly innocent lie that spirals into a web of rumors, jealousy, and the complexities of acceptance. Olive, caught in the midst of high school drama, embraces the chaos by faking promiscuity to help others while navigating her own journey of self-discovery. The movie cleverly tackles themes of adultery, infidelity, and unfaithfulness within the context of teenage relationships.

Let me just begin by saying that there are two sides to every story. This is my side, the right one.

Emma Stone's portrayal of Olive marked a breakthrough role, earning praise for the wit and charisma she infused into the character. "Easy A" emerges as a standout teen movie, offering a refreshing take on high school dynamics while providing a humorous and easy-going experience for audiences.

This teen comedy is not just a lighthearted romp through high school; it's a smart exploration of teen angst and the consequences of spreading rumors. "Easy A" distinguishes itself as the thinking person's "Mean Girls," delving into the intricacies of honesty and the problems that arise from telling lies. It's a film that proves that teen comedies can be both funny and thought-provoking, leaving a lasting impression on those who venture into Olive's world.

7. Zombieland (2009)

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Director: Ruben Fleischer
Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson
Genre: Action, Comedy, Horror

My Take:

"Zombieland" (2009) takes us on a thrilling ride through a world infested with zombies, blending elements of horror, comedy, and parody. The film follows a group of survivors—Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock—as they navigate a post-apocalyptic landscape filled with the undead. Director Ruben Fleischer drew inspiration from "Shaun of the Dead," creating a dark comedy that pays homage to the zombie genre while offering a fresh and humorous take on the human versus undead dynamic. Shot in just 42 days, the film's fast-paced production mirrors the adrenaline-fueled journey of its characters.

I used to avoid people like they were zombies before they were zombies. Now that they are all now zombies, I kinda miss people.

In a clever twist, "Zombieland" features Bill Murray playing himself, adding a layer of meta-humor to the narrative. Woody Harrelson's character, a fan of Murray's movies, pays homage to the actor's real-life collaboration with Murray in "Kingpin" (1996). These subtle connections enhance the film's appeal, creating a sense of camaraderie among the characters and the actors portraying them.

This zombie parody is far from a serious exploration of the apocalypse—it's a carnival attraction on a roller coaster filled with laughs. The film's modest cleverness adds to its charm, making it a wickedly fun experience. "Zombieland" is a testament to the idea that a movie about zombies can be both entertaining and humorous without sacrificing the thrill of the genre. It transforms the horror comedy into a joyous ride of fun and entertainment, proving that even in the face of a zombie apocalypse, laughter can be the best survival strategy.


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