Last year, it was the 9/11-themed drama "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" that provided the biggest head-scratcher. This year, the shocks and surprises in this year's 85th Academy Awards nominations were more abundant.
Here are the five biggest surprises:
1. Quvenzhané Wallis in the best actress category. Oscar pulled the same-old, same-old in the best supporting actor category and chose former Oscar veterans. But they showed some moxie by nominating the young and gifted Wallis, so incredible as a Hushpuppy in "Beasts of the Southern Wild." In fact, this was the year young actors delivered exceptional performances -- from Tom Holland in "The Impossible" -- to Wallis. At least one landed a nom. Hushpuppy, we love you!
2. Benh Zeitlin and Michael Haneke knocking out other odds-on directing faves. OK, that's cheating a bit, but both Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") and Haneke ("Amour") -- considered long shots in major categories -- beat out the heavily favored Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") and Ben Affleck ("Argo"). Both were big surprises, as were the Best Picture noms the films garnered. Can't argue with either choice, though, as they were excellent films.
3 Jacki Weaver for best supporting actress in "Silver Linings Playbook." Weaver rode the coattails of other nominees in David O. Russell's charmer about two troubled souls who tango well together. As a woman dealing with the men in her life that have OCD issues, she was understated yet terrific. Nice to see this "Animal Kingdom" star back in this category.
4. Joaquin Phoenix landing a much-deserved best actor nom. Undoubtedly, his was one of the best performances of 2012, yet going into the final lap of the nomination process it looked like "The Master's" star's searing work as a disturbed World War II veteran would be ignored. Kudos, Oscar, for doing the right thing.
5. "The Waiting Room" passed up in the best documentary category. Bay Area filmmaker Peter Nicks' bustling documentary showed the bitter-pill reality of health care through the prism of the strapped emergency room at Oakland's Highland Hospital, encapsulating a major crisis. But apparently it didn't have the right prescription for Oscar.