Iceland’s composer won the coveted Oscar statuette on Sunday night for her original score to Todd Phillips' film Joker.
Gudnadóttir entered the Oscars race as a favourite, having won a Golden Globe and a BAFTA among other illustrious awards for her composing work on Joker.
The 37-year old composer and musician made history as the first woman ever to win an Academy Award for Best Dramatic score. Previous winners, British female composers Rachel Portman and Anne Dudley won respectively Best Original Musical or comedy score for Emma in 1997, and The Full Monty in 1998, while US-born Marilyn Bergman, shared with her husband Alan Bergman and Michel Legrand an Oscar for best original song score for the film Yentl in 1984. The Academy Awards merged the categories best original musical or comedy score and best original dramatic score in 2000.
On Sunday evening, Gudnasdóttir who received a standing ovation, thanked her fellow nominees and Phillips, mentioning that "a film composer is only as creative as the dialogue with the director.”
Before closing her speech, she made a heartfelt rallying cry to creative women around the world saying: "To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up — we need to hear your voices!”
Gudnasdóttir was competing against Alexandre Desplat for Little Women, Randy Newman for Marriage Story, Thomas Newman 1917, and John Williams for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The classically trained cellist was a close collaborator to her co-national, the late composer Jóhann Jóhansson, Oscar nominated for Sicario and The Theory of Everything.
Besides her outstanding work on Joker, she has won several glittering awards for the music of HBO's mini-series Chernobyl, including an Emmy and a Grammy award.
At home, she won two Icelandic Edda Awards for her scores to Baltasar Kormákur's feature The Oath (2017) and TV series Trapped (2016).
Meanwhile Bon Joon-ho’s Palme d’or winning film made history as the first foreign language film to bag four major Oscars for Best film, director, original screenplay and international feature film.
Parasite was released in the Nordics via Camera Film in Denmark, Future Film in Finland, Bíó Paradís in Iceland, Arthaus in Norway, and TriArt in Sweden.