Joker composer Hildur Guðnadóttir was awarded Best Original Score at the 77th Golden Globe Awards, giving Joker its first win of four nominations. Joaquin Phoenix also won the Golden Globe for Best Actor because of his role as Arthur Fleck.The award marks Guðnadóttir’s first win and nomination at the annual ceremony as voted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Guðnadóttir’s score won out over Motherless Brooklyn (Daniel Pemberton), Little Women (Alexandre Desplat), Marriage Story (Randy Newman) and 1917 (Thomas Newman). In Joker: Vision & Fury, a making-of documentary included on the Joker home release special features, Guðnadóttir admitted she "stumbled" into what would become the iconic main theme that underscored the famed bathroom scene where Joaquin Phoenix's Arthur Fleck fully transforms into the Joker:
“I started writing the music just after reading the script,” Guðnadóttir said. “So I just started playing with cello a bit, which is my main instrument, and just played around with some melodies and the feelings and I kind of sat with it for a few hours. And then I was actually practicing something else, and I kind of stumbled onto what became the main theme afterwards. It was just like a feeling strong feeling of something clicking into place, because it just connected with exactly the same feeling that I’d had when I read the script.”
She continued, “I was like, [gasps]. I caught my breath and I was like, ‘Wait!’ I just started recording, and that’s kind of where the main theme was born, out of this feeling. ‘This is how he feels, this is what this feels like.’”
Phoenix and director Todd Phillips only cracked the improvised bathroom scene after setting it to Guðnadóttir's theme, sent to Phillips just a day earlier. The star “loved it,” Phillips says in Vision & Fury, “and he just started doing this dance to it.”
“I think it’s a really great moment in the movie, and it’s a really much more effective way of illustrating the beginning of the transformation, with grace that kind of comes out of nowhere. You kind of feel that he has it in him,” the director said of the impromptu bathroom dance. “We wrote in the script there’s a certain elegance to him, and a certain romance … he has it in him. There’s music in him, so to speak. But that’s the first time we really see it come out.”
Joker is available to own on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray starting Jan 7.