‘Hugo’ Leads Nominations Count, But Does That Guarantee Victory?

Mike Krumboltz
Coverage of The 84th Annual Academy Awards®

"Hugo" scored 11 Oscar nominations, more than any other film this year. One could argue that it makes the Martin Scorsese flick the film to beat. But does getting the most nominations necessarily equate to winning the most awards? History is a mixed bag.

Last year, "The King's Speech" scored 12 nominations. And while it didn't win all 12, the film took home many of the show's most prestigious awards. It won best picture, best director, best actor, and best original screenplay. And the year before that, "Avatar" and "The Hurt Locker" tied for most nominations, with nine each. "The Hurt Locker" went home with six wins, including best picture and best director.

But then there was the curious case of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." The 2008 film scored an astounding 13 nominations. It went home with three (not bad), but the evening belonged to "Slumdog Millionaire," which won eight, including best picture and best director.

In 2004, Scorsese's "The Aviator" received 11 nominations (just like "Hugo"). It took home five (the most awards of the evening), but it lost many of the night's biggest categories. "Million Dollar Baby" won for best picture, best director (Clint Eastwood), and best actress (Hilary Swank).

So, does getting a lot of nominations help you secure the night's biggest awards? Well, it's certainly no guarantee (just ask Benjamin Button), but it does up the odds that a film won't go home empty-handed -- right? Well, maybe. The Spielberg film "The Color Purple" was nominated for 11 Oscars back in 1985, and it went home with a big, fat zero.