Joker composer Hildur Guðnadóttir is the fifth woman in Oscar history to be nominated for Best Original Score.

The Oscar nod marks a continued upward trajectory for the classically trained cellist. Guðnadóttir recently picked up a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Award, Emmy, and a Society of Composers & Lyricist award for her work on Joker and the acclaimed HBO series Chernobyl.

In an interview with Deadline, the composer mused on the impact of her nomination: “I think it’s magnificent to be able to be a part of this conversation, and to shed some light on the situation of women in the industry, especially in this category, because it’s a little bit silly how few there are.” 

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Guðnadóttir’s nomination is the seventh for a female composer writing an original score. Past nominees include Ann Ronell, Rachel Portman, Anne Dudley and most recently, Mica Levin for her work on Jackie.  The English composer and conductor Angela Morley was nominated twice in the Seventies for Best Adaptation Score, a category which no longer exists.

At the 2020 Oscars the Icelandic composer will be the only newcomer in the category. Guðnadóttir is contending with a host of industry veterans, John Williams (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Randy Newman (Toy Story 4), Thomas Newsman (1917), and Alexandre Desplat (Little Women).

If Guðnadóttir does win the Oscar for Joker, the award will make her the first female composer to take home the coveted accolade in more than 20 years.

Guðnadóttir's nomination was one of 11 that were feted to Todd Phillips' Joker, along with Best Picture, Best Director (Phillips) and Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix). 

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