Thursday, October 14, 2010

Actress to watch: Emma Stone

I think Emma Stone is one of the more talented young actresses working today. She currently stars in the comedy Easy A. Stone plays intelligent (and invisible) high school student Olive, who tells a lie to her best friend about losing her virginity. The lie is overheard and then spreads around school. Other students begin noticing her for the wrong reasons and Olive feeds the rumor mill as she agrees to pretend to have slept with nerdy, unpopular students. She embraces her bad reputation by wearing an A on her clothes to see what it feels like to be an outcast like in the book The Scarlett Letter. Stone is wonderful in the movie, and I especially enjoyed the scenes where she interacted with her parents (played by Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci). Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire deems her performance worthy of an Oscar nomination ("Emma Stone should be on short list of Oscar nominees").

Saturday, October 23 she will host Saturday Night Live. Stone has also been cast in the film version of the popular Kathryn Stockett novel The Help, and it has been confirmed that she will play the role of Gwen alongside The Social Network's Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker in the next Spider-Man films. Check out her earlier work:

Superbad (2007)
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High school students Seth (Jonah Hill) and Evan (Michael Cera) look forward to going to Jules' (Stone) party. Seth has a crush on Jules and wants to impress her by buying the alcohol, which they think they'll have no problem doing thanks to the new fake ID of their friend Fogel aka McLovin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse). When the guys finally make it to her party Seth finds out that Jules wasn't too concerned about the alcohol (she doesn't even drink!) and really was just looking to hang out with him.

The House Bunny (2008)
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The Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority, so unpopular it only has seven members, is on the verge of losing its charter. The members are clueless about how to talk to the opposite sex, and the other Greek organizations on campus make fun of them. Stone plays sorority sister Natalie, who decides to let former Playboy bunny Shelby (Anna Faris) come in to the sorority as their new house mom and help them fund raise and recruit pledges. The comedic chemistry between Stone and Faris is great. Natalie's awkwardness shows through in Stone's facial expressions, body language, and pure enthusiasm for activities no one else really understands. For example, Natalie's fundraising ideas for the sorority include starting a bee keeping club, paleolithic bake sale, and BYOM (bring your own mouse) party, where everyone would dress up mice. Her delivery, facial expressions, and arm movements are hilarious when she's trying too hard to be cool, such as the scene where Shelby suggests they go out to a club and Natalie adds on her own suggestion:
"We could tie our shoes together, our tennis shoes, and throw them over telephone wires because I see that everywhere and it seems people would have fun doing that. Like, how hard can you throw? You know what I mean?"
The Rocker (2008)
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Stone plays the "kind of ironic, post-modern punk girl" Amelia, bass player for the band A.D.D. After their drummer is suspended from school, they recruit Matt's uncle, Robert Fishman (Rainn Wilson), a forty-something out-of-work former drummer for '80s hair band Vesuvius.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)
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Womanizer Connor Meade (Matthew McConaughey) visits ghosts of his ex-girlfriends with the help of Allison (Stone), a ghost herself and one of his high school girlfriends (and his "first"). Wearing scrunchies in her curly permed hair and an acid-washed jean jacket, Allison is hilariously enthusiastic. "This is my favorite part!" she exclaims as they watch Connor as a kid with Jenny (played as an adult by Jennifer Garner). Allison is especially excited when they watch Connor at a past middle school dance. After the dance, she then gives Connor a hard time as they watch his uncle (Michael Douglas) bring him into a bar and then share tips about women: "Would someone please call Child Protective Services?" In my opinion Stone steals the movie with her supporting performance as super-bubbly Allison.

Zombieland (2009)
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Almost all of the humans have been wiped out due to the 21st century plague of zombies, leaving deserted grocery stores, roads, and homes. Ohio (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahasee (Woody Harrelson) meet sisters Wichita (Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) at Blaine's Grocery and fall for one of their cons. Wichita and Little Rock are on their way to Pacific Playground amusement park because they've heard it's zombie-free.