‘Joker’ composer Hildur Guðnadóttir poised to make Oscar history

Only seven women have been nominated in the original score categories at the Oscars: Lynn Ahrens, Marilyn Bergman, Anne Dudley, Micachu, Angela Morley and Rachel Portman. Three — Bergman, Dudley and Portman — turned those nominations into victories. Bergman won in the now-defunct Original Song Score category back in 1984 for “Yentl,” sharing the prize with lyricist-husband Alan Bergman and composer Michael Legrand. Portman prevailed in 1997 for “Emma,” while Dudley won the following year for “The Full Monty.”

Joker” composer Hildur Guðnadóttir could well be the first female contender for Best Original Score since Micachu, who was nominated in 2016 for “Jackie.” Before that, it was Portman who was last nominated – in 2000 for “Chocolat.”  Guðnadóttir just won an Emmy for her score to the limited series “Chernobyl.” Portman picked up this same prize in 2015 for “Bessie.” 

Guðnadóttir would be the fifth-ever Icelandic Oscar nominee. Friðrik Þór Friðriksson was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 1992 for “Children of Nature”; Bjork and Sjón Sigurdsson were nominated for Best Original Song for ‘I’ve Seen it All’ from “Dancer in the Dark” in 2001, and the late Jóhann Jóhannsson earned consecutive score bids in 2015 and 2016 for “The Theory of Everything” and “Sicario,” respectively. None of these five turned their bids into wins.

Guðnadóttir has already won Best Score at the Venice Film festival. Among the other strong contenders at the Academy Awards are Michael Abels (“Us”), Alexandre Desplat (“Little Women”), Michael Giacchino (“Jojo Rabbit”), Thomas Newman (“1917”), Randy Newman (“Marriage Story”) Alan Silvestri (“Avengers: Endgame”) and John Williams (“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”) Note: all men.

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