It’s the kind of history that arguably only the Oscars, by virtue of their stature in the film industry, can make.
Should Zhao or Fennell be victorious, it would mark a large step forward.
Even casual film fans know the names Elfman and Zimmer — and many also know Ennio Morricone, Alexandre Desplat and Newton Howard. But by now, the likes of Mica Levi, Anne Dudley, Miriam Cutler, Starr Parodi and Debbie Wiseman should be just as familiar too.
We know of the storied relationships between directors and composers, from Bernard Hermann and Alfred Hitchcock to Steven Spielberg and John Williams. Where are the tales of women who have influenced masterpieces? That’s my question after Ritmanis said to me: “I wish directors and executives would pause before they go on to hire the same person they always hire … It really is like a boys club.”
“I’ve been expecting things to change for women composers all this time much more than they have,” she told me recently. “I don’t have answers, only more questions. I wonder if the root of the cause is the perception that women can’t handle big films? I’ve noticed women directors often work with women composers.”