UPDATED with video of speech: When Joker composer Hildur Guðnadóttir won the award for Best Original Score at the 77th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday the victory had a historic backbeat that went beyond her haunting themes. The Icelandic native was only the second woman to ever win the award and becomes the first solo female winner in the history of the category. The best original score award was introduced as a Golden Globes category in 1947.
The composer and cellist was at a loss for words as the she accepted the trophy on Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton. “This is truly — I’m speechless,” Guðnadóttir said as she hefted the gleaming award.
Previously in the best original score category, Australian composer Lisa Gerrard shared the award with Hans Zimmer for their work on Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000). Guðnadóttir’s win on Sunday came against distinguished competition, too, with this year’s nominee field of Randy Newman (Marriage Story), Alexandre Desplat (Little Women), Thomas Newman (1917), and Daniel Pemberton (Motherless Brooklyn).
These are dizzying days for Guðnadóttir, whose profile is rising quickly. Her forlorn score for HBO’s Chernobyl won an Emmy in September and will compete in the counterpart category at the upcoming Grammy Awards, giving her the rare opportunity to win three of the entertainment world’s top trophies in a matter of months.
Joker had four nominations with title star Joaquin Phoenix taking home the Globe for best actor in a drama. The star has cited Guðnadóttir’s music as a key factor in his crafting of his character, the disaffected and disturbed Arthur Fleck, who transforms himself into the unfunny clown called the Joker. Director and co-writer Todd Phillips also took a new approach with Joker when he set the script to Guðnadóttir early in the process to secure a sonic signpost that would give his star direction during his search for the off-kilter screen persona.
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