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Emma Stone’s Best Actress Oscar Win Brings Mixed Feelings About Lily Gladstone’s Loss

Even Emma Stone didn’t seem to believe it when her name was called on Sunday as the winner of the 2024 Academy Award for Best Actress. “I think I blacked out. I was very shocked,” Stone, who was recognized for her captivatingly melodramatic performance in Poor Things, told reporters after the ceremony.

Many Oscars-watchers had believed fellow nominee Lily Gladstone would win the award for her more understated but just as critically acclaimed performance in Martin Scorcese’s Killers of the Flower Moon.

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Stone, who was visibly overwhelmed when she was called on stage to receive the recognition, directed attention to each of her fellow nominees—Sandra Hüller, Annette Benning, Carey Mulligan, and Gladstone—saying, “I share this with you; I’m in awe of you; and it’s been such an honor to do all this together. I hope we get to keep doing more together.”

But viewers and film critics at home were quick to react on the internet, expressing disappointment over what they perceived as a snub for Gladstone, who they felt was more deserving.

The 37-year-old Gladstone had already been feted as the best lead actress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and at the Golden Globes, but Gladstone and the rest of the Killers of the Flower Moon cast and crew were shut out at the Oscars, as Christopher Nolan’s biopic on the father of the atomic bomb Oppenheimer took home most of the night’s top awards.

Still, as fans of the actress have been keen to point out, Gladstone nevertheless already made history as the first U.S. Native American to be nominated in the Best Actress category at the Oscars. Some have debated whether she would have fared better in the Supporting Actress category, given her limited screen time in Scorcese’s three-hour epic, but others have noted that her quietly moving portrayal of Osage woman Mollie Burkhart, whose relatives and community members were exploited and murdered by white interlopers, was the heart of the film.

There appears at least to be no bad blood over the upset between Stone and Gladstone, who were spotted embracing each other during the Oscars ceremony. Social media users also praised Gladstone’s “class” reaction to Stone receiving the award.

And it’s not the end, rather just the beginning, for Gladstone’s career, supporters insist.

Contact us at letters@time.com.