Why Only Three Movies Have Ever Swept the Oscars

Why, in over 90 years, have only three films won the top 5 gongs?

Getting nominated for an Academy Award is quite hard. Winning one is enormously difficult. Winning five is nigh impossible. So much needs to break in a film's favor for it to take home a handful of Oscars. The campaign by the studios needs to get all the right eyes on the film, contextualize its various components in a voter friendly manner, have the filmmakers shake every important hand in the business, and so much more. It helps if the film itself is pretty good too. Even so, there is no guarantee that doing all these things brings home the gold, which is why these campaigns tend to focus on one or two specific areas to put their weight behind. For instance, Roadside Attractions knew that directing every single bit of attention to Renée Zellweger's performance in the film Judy was their only viable avenue towards the Academy Award, positioning it as a transformative comeback performance for the actor. Their efforts paid off, and she took home her second Oscar for a film already faded from memory in 2021.

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