"SKYFALL": The James Bond film earned rave reviews and more than $1 billion at the box office, but that wasn't enough to score 007 a Best Picture nomination.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO: The "Django Unchained" star played bad -- really, really bad -- as a sadistic plantation owner Quentin Tarantino's film. DiCaprio's villainous change of pace wasn't to Oscar voters' liking, however. They left the superstar off the list of Best Supporting Actor contenders.
MICHAEL HANEKE, "AMOUR": The German-Austrian auteur elbowed his way into a crowded Best Director field, but his inclusion may have come at the expense of Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck. The drama about an aging couple also managed to score a Best Picture nomination, a rare feat for a foreign language film, as well as a spot in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
BENH ZEITLIN: The 30-year-old newcomer beat the odds to nab a Best Director nod for "Beasts of the Southern Wild," a low-budget indie that also happened to be his first feature film.
KATHRYN BIGELOW: Loads of critics awards and rhapsodic reviews weren't enough to secure a Best Director nomination for the "Zero Dark Thirty" helmer. She may have been undone by the criticism over the thriller's depiction of the role torture played in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. In this case, controversy didn't sell.
BEN AFFLECK: Like Bigelow, Affleck was considered a sure-thing for his first Best Director nomination. Yet the "Argo" director saw his spot taken by Haneke and Zeitlin. To borrow a line from the film, he's probably wishing he could tell Oscar voters, "Argo f--- yourselves."
CHRISTOPH WALTZ: The Austrian actor scored a second Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as a bounty hunter in "Django Unchained." He has already won the statue for his performance in another Quentin Tarantino film, "Inglourious Basterds," but he was not widely expected to be among this year's crop of hopefuls. His good fortune may have worked against his co-star DiCaprio, who found himself snubbed for his performance in the film.
TOM HOOPER: "Les Misérables," earned eight nominations, including a nod for Best Picture, but its director found himself on the wrong side of Oscar voters. He bravely decided to film the musical's stars performing the challenging score live, but his unorthodox approach didn't sing with the Academy, who left him of the list of Best Director nominees.
JACKI WEAVER: The Australian actress' performance in "Silver Linings Playbook" as a mother struggling to support her mentally ill son was thought to be too subtle to make the list of Best Supporting Actress nominees. However, Weaver's quiet dignity resonated with voters, earning her a trip to the Oscars.
JOHN HAWKES: The character actor's star turn in "The Sessions" as a paralyzed poet who hires a sex surrogate to lose his virginity is just the kind of showy role that usually earns Oscar nominations. However, it fell victim to a crowded field of bravura performances from the likes of Denzel Washington ("Flight") and Daniel Day-Lewis ("Lincoln").
MARION COTILLARD: It's always hard for a performer to earn an Oscar nod for their work in a foreign language film. But Cotillard already earned a statue for her devastating portrayal of Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose." Apparently playing a legless killer whale trainer who has some steamy sex with a 25-year-old didn't produce enough fireworks to earn her another Best Actress nomination.
"THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS": The British/American 3D stop-motion animated adventure hit these shores last spring -- an eternity ago in the minds of Oscar voters who tend to reward more recent releases. However, the Aardman Animations release lingered in the minds and earned it a slot on the Best Animated Feature Films list over splashier productions like DreamWorks Animation's "Rise of the Guardians."
"THE INTOUCHABLES": Record-setting box office in France and a heartwarming story about the bond between a rich quadriplegic and his immigrant caretaker couldn't secure a Best Foreign Film nod for "The Intouchables." Something appears to have been lost in translation.
"BULLY": Did any issue dominate the public discourse last year more than school bullying? Yet appealing to the popular zeitgeist couldn't earn "Bully" a trip to the Oscars. The ripped-from-the-headlines documentary earned mediocre reviews and failed to snag a Best Documentary nomination over better-received, albeit lower-profile projects like "How to Survive a Plague" and "The Invisible War."
HELEN MIRREN: The Oscar-winner stole the show in "Hitchcock" as the famous director's devoted wife and collaborator. Academy members are usually suckers for anything having to do with movie history (See "The Artist"), but in this case Mirren's role as the drab Alma Hitchcock may not have had enough Hollywood glamor. Don't fret Helen, the real Alfred Hitchcock was frequently snubbed by Oscar voters too.
RICHARD GERE: Never nominated, many Oscar watchers were predicting that Gere would finally earn a trip to the big show for his chilling work as a Wall Street wizard brought low in "Arbitrage." The performance, though masterful, may have lacked enough scenery chewing moments to break out among a the pack. Once again, Gere has found himself without a Best Actor nomination despite some sterling work.