The Reason Why Emma Stone Beat Lily Gladstone for Best Actress

In the world of Oscars, Emma Stone’s win over Lily Gladstone for Best Actress wasn’t as surprising as Moonlight’s unexpected victory. Throughout the season, both actresses had their victories – Emma Stone at BAFTA, and Gladstone at SAG. Despite predictions favoring Gladstone, Stone clinched her second Oscar, making it the most unexpected turn of the night.

Let’s explore three potential reasons why voters chose Emma Stone over Gladstone

Category Confusion

Gladstone initially aimed for a Supporting Actress nomination but switched to Lead. This decision made sense for the Killers of the Flower Moon campaign, highlighting the film’s revamped script centered around the Osage point of view. Running Gladstone as a supporting actress might have undercut the message of equality with co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. Although the move didn’t result in an Oscar win, it could still be a smart career move for Gladstone, signaling her desire for lead roles.

However, Gladstone’s character had less screen time, and the film sometimes leaned towards DiCaprio’s perspective, causing a bit of controversy. On the other hand, Stone’s character was central throughout, making her performance more impactful.

The International Contingent

The Academy’s inclusion of international voters had a notable impact this year, evident in various winners – a French film for Original Screenplay, two Japanese films for Animated Feature and Visual Effects, and a British film made in Poland winning Sound. This international influence may have swayed the vote towards Emma Stone. Similar surprises occurred at BAFTA, which also has a global membership. BAFTA overlooked Killers in crucial categories, possibly because international voters didn’t connect with the film’s themes as much as their U.S. counterparts.

Also Read: Oscars Complete Nomination List

The Narrative

Oscars aren’t solely about performance; narratives play a crucial role. While Gladstone could have made history as the first Native American acting Oscar winner, the modern Academy seems less swayed by narrative wins. Emma Stone’s recent win for La La Land in 2017 might have been a disadvantage, but her acclaimed performance in Poor Things, hailed as a career-best since Venice, ultimately weighed more heavily.

In the end, the reasons for Stone’s win are likely a combination of category placement, international influence, and the impact of narrative in the eyes of the Academy.