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Oscar Winner Hildur Guðnadóttir Reveals Her 5 Favorite Film Scores

Hildur Guonadottir
Jennifer Graylock/PA Images/Getty Images

Hildur Guonadottir with her Best Original Score Oscar on Feb 9, 2020 at the 92nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

Oddly, given that Hildur is a recent Oscar winner and this list was created for Oscar.com, none of these scores was even nominated for an Oscar.

Hildur Guðnadóttir won an Oscar for best original score for Joker at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards three months ago. So the Icelandic composer's list of her all-time top five movie scores, which she compiled for Oscar.com, is of special interest.

Hildur's eclectic choices include two scores from the 1980s (The Shining and When Harry Met Sally…), one from the 1990s (Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me) and two from the 2010s (Birdman and The Revenant).

Oddly, given that Hildur is a recent Oscar winner and this list was created for Oscar.com, none of these scores was even nominated for an Oscar. In fact, two of these films, The Shining and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, weren't nominated for Oscars in any categories.

Let's take a closer look at Hildur's five choices.

The Shining: Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind created the music for Stanley Kubrick's psychological horror classic from 1980. "It’s probably one of my all-time favorite film scores, with music that really, really gets under your skin," Hildur told Oscar.com.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me: Angelo Badalamenti created the music for David Lynch's psychological horror film from 1992. The soundtrack reached No. 173 on the Billboard 200. "I think that score is fantastic," Hildur said. "I love the simplicity of it."

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): Antonio Sánchez created the music for Alejandro G. Iñárritu's black comedy/drama from 2014. “I absolutely adored that score…," Hildur said. "It was great to see how drums could carry the whole emotional spectrum. It's exciting to see innovative scores like that."

The Revenant: Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto created the music for Iñárritu's follow-up film, released in 2015. Hildur's cello playing is prominently featured on this score, which was nominated for best original score at the Golden Globes and best film music at the BAFTAs but was ruled ineligible for the Oscar for best original score because it was "assembled from the music of more than one composer."

When Harry Met Sally…: Marc Shaiman and Harry Connick Jr. collaborated on the music for Rob Reiner's  beloved 1989 rom-com. Connick's album of the same name reached No. 42 on the Billboard 200 and was a chart fixture for more than two years. Connick, then just 21, sings such standards as "Our Love Is Here to Stay," "But Not for Me," "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Don't Get Around Much Anymore." "That's the film I’ve probably seen the most often with my mom," Hildur said. "We love it. We basically know every single word. That one is more just for the fun of watching the film.”

Three months ago (though it seems so much longer, given all that has happened since then), Hildur became just the third woman to win an Oscar for scoring a film, following Rachel Portman, for Emma (1996), and Anne Dudley, for The Full Monty (1997).

With her Oscar win, Hildur secured three-quarters of an EGOT in less than five months—the fastest that anyone has amassed that many EGOT-level awards since Bob Fosse did it in less than two months in the spring of 1973.

Hildur kicked off this winning streak at the Creative Arts Emmys on Sept. 15 when she won outstanding music composition for a limited series, movie, or special for HBO's Chernobyl. She won a Grammy on Jan. 26 for best score soundtrack for visual media for that same work.

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