Emma Stone has won her first Academy Award for her role as the struggling actress / playwright Mia Dolan in Damien Chazelle’s movie musical La La Land. She was nominated for an Oscar once before — Best Supporting Actress in 2014’s Best Picture-winner Birdman — but did not win.
Stone won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy in January, and collected several other revered pre-Oscar prizes in the weeks following, including the British Academy of Film and Television’s annual award and the Screen Actor’s Guild award.
She was the only actress in this category who was nominated for a role in a film that was also in the running for Best Picture. Stone edged out Ruth Negga (Loving), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), and Natalie Portman (Jackie). In her acceptance speech, Stone thanked director Damien Chazelle and her co-star Ryan Gosling for making her laugh and “raising the bar.”