Can ’12 Years a Slave’ win Best Picture without having most overall Oscar nominations?

Hey, there’s good Oscar news for fans of “12 Years a Slave,” which reaped nine nominations.

Just because “Gravity” and “American Hustle” lead with the most Oscar bids (10), that doesn’t necessarily mean that either one is ahead to win Best Picture.

Yes, it’s true that the film with the most bids has prevailed two-thirds of the time since the Oscars standardized the number of nominees in 1945, but that trend has not played out in the past decade.

Only four of the most recent 10 Best Picture champs led their contests with the most noms: “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,”  “No Country for Old Men” and “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”

Below, the breakdown of most nominations per year, with the winner noted in gold:

2012 – “Lincoln” (12), “Life of Pi” (11), “Les Miserables” and “Silver Linings Playbook” (8), “Argo” (7)

2011 – “Hugo” (11), “The Artist” (10)

2010 – “The King’s Speech” (12),” True Grit” (10)

2009 – “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” (9)

2008 – “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (13), “Slumdog Millionaire” (10)

2007 – “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood” (8)

2006 – “Dreamgirls” (8), “Babel” (7), “The Queen” (6), “The Departed” (5)

2005 – “Brokeback Mountain” (8), “Crash” (6)

2004 – “The Aviator” (11), “Million Dollar Baby” (7)

2003 – “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” (11)

COMPLETE OSCAR NOMINATIONS COVERAGE:

Oscars: Complete list of nominations

Will Jennifer Lawrence become youngest ever two-time Oscar winner?

Going for double Oscar gold: Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts …

Oscar nominations analysis: What’s up (‘American Hustle’) and what’s down (’12 Years a Slave’)

David O. Russell makes Oscars history as second film (‘American Hustle’) sweeps acting categories

Shocking Oscar nominations snubs: Oprah, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks (x2) …

Oprah? No-prah! Did she peak too soon this Oscar derby?

Do most Oscar nominations make either ‘American Hustle’ or ‘Gravity’ a lock for Best Picture?

Can ’12 Years a Slave’ win Best Picture without having most overall Oscar nominations?

Will Robert Lopez (‘Frozen’) become 12th member of exclusive EGOT club?

Oscar nominations by the numbers: Which films came out on top?

‘American Hustle,’ ‘Gravity’ lead Oscar nominations with 10 apiece

8 thoughts on “Can ’12 Years a Slave’ win Best Picture without having most overall Oscar nominations?

  1. I’ve seen all of the films. “12 Years” is difficult to watch and it’s definitely something I would want to watch over and over again. Yet, I can’t look at all these movies and say without complete certainty that “12 Years A Slave” is without question the BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR. For that reason, I think it wins. It’s still up for all the awards that matter – screenplay, editing, director and 3 acting categories (there wasn’t even a lead female in the film to compete in that category).

  2. I’ve seen all of the films. “12 Years” is difficult to watch and it’s definitely not something I would want to watch over and over again. Yet, I can’t look at all these movies and say without complete certainty that “12 Years A Slave” is without question the BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR. For that reason, I think it wins. It’s still up for all the awards that matter – screenplay, editing, director and 3 acting categories (there wasn’t even a lead female in the film to compete in that category).

  3. Nice. I did this analysis myself this afternoon. I think 12 Years a Slave is still the frontrunner, but it’s no longer the unbeatable frontrunner. Not so much because it didn’t get the most nods, but because it got quite a bit fewer nods than expected.

  4. I see that Goldderby pushed “American Hustle” to the top spot. While I tend to agree, remember that no film since “Greatest Show on Earth” has won Best Picture with only one other award. At least with Supporting Actress, “12 Years” would have the “required” three wins (along with Pic and Screenplay).

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