Somewhere in between the mass sentiment ‘oh please, she’s wearing a dress with STARS on it, how on the nose, we get it’ and her apparently answering the question ‘what are you wearing’ with ‘a dress with stars on it’, I feel like we got the mistaken impression that Emma Stone’s dress was run of the mill.

It’s not. It’s gorgeous. Look at this thing. It’s exactly what would accurately be called ‘a confection’ and yet it doesn’t make her look like a little girl or a pastel bridesmaid. It’s bloody stunning and it allowed her to still be herself, kind of metaphorically slouchy and casual but still playing the game of ‘yes, of course I will wear a (Valentino in this case) beautiful dress’. Who except Emma Stone manages to look casual in the kind of formalwear most of us will never need to own? I want it, not least because the greatest skill Emma Stone showed off last night is that she comes off like a reasonable facsimile of someone I assume to be herself.

And it’s only the first event of many where we wonder whether or not Emma Stone is going to win the big prize – and I think the answer is, everyone kind of hopes so. The role is playing a young actress, not a ‘tough’ role, but a charming one, which is covering over for a level of difficulty. She’s still pretty effortlessly charming – Andrew Garfield, of course, jumped up to give her a standing ovation, so that gives you an idea of how he’s able to feel about her professionally, regardless of any personal hurts – and her speech was charming and had some tears in it and it was about her mom and her family. She subjected her poor brother Spencer to Ryan Seacrest asking how old he was like a distant aunt at a family reunion, for God’s sake. Oh, and then there was the time she hugged her director at the same time as his wife…


She’s going to be cringing-slash-talking about that on the red carpet for weeks. It’s only good news.

She’s endearing and charming, and given that in La La Land she’s playing someone not unlike herself, that should go a long way for Oscar voters. It’s hard not to love her, even if you’re an avowed Natalie Portman fan. 

The question is whether the scrutiny over whether La La Land deserves all the hype and praise (which will only continue this morning after it won best screenplay of all things. Screenplay?! The movie is fully half montage! That’s okay, that’s the point, but it’s not exactly an achievement in writing!) will get in her way, and whether she needs Ryan “Despite Meryl Streep’s declarations, I’m complicated, even taciturn” Gosling to show up for her in a more tangible way in the scant few weeks we have left. I hope the idea that she ‘needs’ anyone but herself is antiquated and false and that we’re all yelling at me – but given Natalie Portman’s important role and Isabelle Huppert’s surprise win last night, the game is definitely not over.