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The Emma Stone roles that serve up the perfect volley of awesome


Not content with her Oscar for musical smash La La Land, Emma Stone is also officially 2017's highest-paid actress, according to the Forbes rich list.

With her latest movie, inspirational tennis drama Battle of the Sexes, on release now we thought we'd recap her finest roles to date.

Zombieland (2009)

Pre-Academy Award and pre-Hollywood fame, Emma lit up the screen in this witty zombie comedy, one focusing on a plucky band of survivors picking their way across the undead-infested American heartland. Amidst a strong cast including Jesse Eisenberg, a scene-stealing Woody Harrelson and Abigail Breslin (Bill Murray also gets a hilarious cameo as himself), Emma holds her own and looks seriously badass wielding some deadly weapons. Where's her action franchise?

Easy A (2010)

Emma went from supporting performer to full-on star with her role in this biting rom-com, a cut above your standard high school story. An intelligently scripted reworking of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, in which an underachieving student finds herself the victim of a spurious rumour, only to turn it to her advantage, it hinges on Emma's brilliant mixture of doe-eyed innocence and cutting cynicism.

Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

A decent romantic drama in its own right, we're really including this because it saw the first on-screen pairing of Go-Stone (the others being Gangster Squad and La La Land). By turns farcical and heartfelt it's ostensibly the story of Steve Carell's family man who is turfed out by his wife, only for Gosling's character to transform him into a ladies' man. However it's Emma's seemingly peripheral presence who has the greatest impact, her character ultimately threading all the various subplots together in hilarious and emotional fashion.

The Help (2011)

Emma perhaps didn't give the standout performance in this emotive, topical racial drama (it would be hard to deny Viola Davis and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer their crown here), but as with so many of her roles she's the narrative lynchpin. Adapted from Kathryn Stockett's novel the movie stars Emma as Skeeter, an aspiring author whose chronicling of black women's experiences in segregated America opens the nation's eyes to prejudice and hatred.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Both of the Amazing Spider-Man movies have been overshadowed by this year's Homecoming but you can't deny the sweet chemistry at their centre between Emma and Andrew Garfield. As Gwen Stacey and Peter Parker they leaven the superhero action with poignant romance (no doubt abetted by the fact they were a couple in real life), in the process ensuring there's a human pulse within this blockbuster machine.

Birdman (2014)

Emma nabbed her first Oscar nomination for her raw and embittered performance in this awards-garlanded smash. Alejandro G. Inarritu's movie is notable for several reasons – its remarkable illusion of being filmed in one unbroken take; the fact it saw Michael Keaton's acting comeback – but it's Emma's performance as the betrayed, isolated daughter of Keaton's narcissistic Broadway actor that really strikes a human chord. Just look at the clip below, particularly how she segues from rage to shame and finally compassion – an acting masterclass.

La La Land (2016)

Thought the golden age of the musical was dead and buried? Along came Damien Chazelle's utterly wondrous extravaganza to right that wrong. Famed for its extraordinary technical prowess (the opening freeway set-piece is still breathtaking), the real reason why the movie won over non-musical fans as well as hardcore luvvies was because it rooted itself in an all-too-believable central relationship. As the star-crossed lovers who intersect and tragically part ways again, both Emma and regular co-star Ryan Gosling play on our heartstrings like the proverbial symphony orchestra. It gifted Emma her first Oscar win – we hope the first of many.

And out now...

Battle of the Sexes

It remains to be seen whether Emma will clinch an Oscar nomination for this timely and energetic real-life sports drama, but she no doubt deserves one. She brings understated grace and believability to the role of legendary tennis player Billie Jean King who finds herself embroiled in an equality row with former World Champion Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) after he denigrates the standard of women's tennis. The solution: to go up against each other in an exhibition match and decide the matter once and for all. Check out the trailer for Battle of the Sexes below.

What are your favourite Emma Stone performances? Let us know @Cineworld.

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