How Many Oscars Can 'The Revenant' Really Win?

The Oscars are coming up, and this year's awards feature one of the most wide-open Best Picture races in years. There are three films considered hopefuls to take home the big prize: Spotlight, The Big Short, and The Revenant. But it's the latter film that may end up having the best night of all, whether it wins the top award or not. While Spotlight has six nominations and The Big Short has five, The Revenant has a whopping 12 Oscar nominations. That's the most nominations of any movie this year, and is just two off of the record fourteen nominations earned by All About Eve and Titanic. But can The Revenant really win all the Oscars?

Anything is possible, but it's probably not going to happen. Of the other films that have had twelve or more Oscar nominations, and there have been 26 of them before The Revenant, not a single one of them has won every award they were nominated for. The closest was 1959's Ben Hur, which was nominated for 12 Oscars and won 11. Also having strong showings were 1997's Titanic, which won 11 of the 14 Oscars for which it was nominated, and The English Patient, which took home nine of its 12 possible awards just one year earlier. However, all of these films were heavy favorites to win Best Picture, something that cannot be said for The Revenant .

Then, on the other end of the spectrum, some heavily-nominated films have fared extremely poorly when it comes to actually winning awards. 2009's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button won only three awards out of 13 nominations, 2012's Lincoln which won just two out of a possible 12, and then there's 1948's Johnny Belinda and 1964's Becket, which each managed only one Oscar win despite both receiving 12 nominations. With The Revenant really only considered a lock to win one award (Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio), it's possible that this sad history could repeat itself.

Thinking more positively, there is one film with almost as many nominations as The Revenant that won every award for which it was nominated. 2003's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won all 11 Oscars for which it was eligible, meaning that The Revenant would have to do it one better in order to break the film's record and achieve the same level of success. The Revenant is similar in scale to that film in that it's an epic, meaning that it also is nominated in below-the-line categories like makeup and visual effects. But the film is likely to face stiff competition in these types of technical categories from Mad Max: Fury Road, which is no slouch with a total of 10 nominations this year.

So in order to go 12-for-12, The Revenant will have to pull off a lot of upsets and have a tremendous amount of luck. It's remotely possible that it could happen, but to be honest there's probably a better chance of a wild bear attack happening at the ceremony.

Images: 20th Century Fox; giphy.com