SNUB: "Saving Mr. Banks" for Best Picture
A glossy look at the making of "Mary Poppins," "Saving Mr. Banks" had been expected to be a best picture contender, but the film failed to earn an invitation to the big show. Perhaps debate about Walt Disney's alleged racism and anti-semitism led to the shut-out.
SNUB: Emma Thompson for Best Actress
Also left out of the nominations was Emma Thompson, whose performance as the ornery creator of "Mary Poppins" in "Saving Mr. Banks" had seemed like a lock for her fourth best actress nod.
SNUB: Tom Hanks for Best Actor
Hanks' searing performance as a kidnapped mariner in "Captain Phillips" failed to secure him a sixth best actor nomination. The category was one of the most competitive in years. With two Oscars to his name, Academy members may have thought he'd been honored enough.
SNUB: Paul Greengrass for Best Director
Greengrass' jerky camera work helped make "Captain Phillips" a high-wire thrill ride. Yet, the English film director's bravura filmmaking failed to earn him a second best director nomination.
SNUB: "Blackfish" for Best Documentary Feature
"Blackfish" has set off a public relations headache for SeaWorld with its probing look into the dangers of keeping Killer Whales in captivity. Generating headlines, however, wasn't enough to guarantee it a spot in the best documentary race.
SNUB: "Monsters University" for Best Animated Feature
Pixar is the gold standard in animation, but the Disney label will have to leave the Oscar chase to others this year. "Monsters University" was shut out of the best animated film race, but weep not for Disney. It managed to secure a berth for "Frozen," which arrives courtesy of Disney Animation.
SNUB: "Stories We Tell" for Best Documentary
In "Stories We Tell," actress Sarah Polley revealed that she was the product of an extramarital affair. Airing family secrets earned her acclaim, but all those glowing notices weren't enough to lead to an Oscar nomination for best documentary.
SURPRISE: Christian Bale for Best Actor
Christian Bale earned an Oscar for working with David O. Russell on "The Fighter." Now, the Welsh star has a chance to pick up his second statue after unexpectedly finding himself on the best actor shortlist for "American Hustle."
SURPRISE: Jonah Hill for Best Supporting Actor
"Wolf of Wall Street" has been at the center of a controversy over whether or not it glamorizes financial crimes. The buzz did nothing to sour voters on Jonah Hill, whose foul-mouthed, drug-abusing broker earned a slot on the best supporting actor shortlist. Turns out there's no such thing as bad publicity.
SNUB: "Inside Llewyn Davis" for Best Picture
The Coen Brothers pulled back the curtain on the Greenwich Village folk scene with "Inside Llewyn Davis.: Unfortunately, Oscar voters didn't dig this particular trip down musical memory lane. The picture and the directors were shut out in every major category.
SNUB: Oscar Isaac for Best Actor
Oscar Isaac’s singing was singled out for praise in reviews for “Inside Llewyn Davis,” but his musical chops weren’t enough to push him into the cutthroat best actor race. This guy isn’t going away, but he’ll have to wait at least another year for his date with the Oscars.
SNUB: Oprah Winfrey for Best Supporting Actress
Oprah Winfrey is a giant, but her showy role as an alcoholic housewife in "Lee Daniels' The Butler" failed to impress Oscar voters. They nominated Sally Hawkins' more understated work in "Blue Jasmine" instead. The picture didn't fare much better. In spite of its inspirational story, it was unable to pick up any major nominations.
SURPRISE: "Dallas Buyers Club" for Best Picture
The drama had largely banked its awards hopes on the devastating performances of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. As expected, both men earned nominations and could end up winning prizes. However, "Dallas Buyers Club" also managed to shoulder its way into the best picture race.
SNUB: Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor
Theodore Twombly may seem like Phoenix's most "normal" role in years, but it's one of his most emotionally complex to date. It's Phoenix's visible reaction to "Her" every word that truly carries the film. Without Phoenix's magnificent performance, it's hard to imagine that "Her" would be nominated for any awards, at all.
SURPRISE: "Her" for Best Picture
Phoenix may not have been nominated for his performance in "Her," but the unlikely tale of man who becomes smitten with his operating system is now one of the most unlikely best picture nominees in Oscar history.
SNUB: Robert Redford for Best Actor
Redford's nearly wordless performance in "All is Lost" earned critical hosannas. Apparently, Oscar voters couldn't stand the silence. They shut out the 77-year old legend, who despite his decades of memorable performances has only been nominated for best actor one time before, for "The Sting."
SNUB: Forest Whitaker for Best Actor
In retrospect, Forest Whitaker’s quiet performance as a White House servant whose personal struggles intersect with the Civil Rights movement in “Lee Daniels The Butler” may have been at too low a decibel level for Oscar voters. He’ll have to content himself with a SAG nomination instead.