Jennifer Aniston. Many thought the comedy star was a sure thing in best actress, given her dramatic, transformative turn as a chronic-pain sufferer in Cake. But despite her aggressive awards campaign, and Golden Globes and SAG awards nominations, Aniston failed to bake her critically dismissed drama (44% approval on Rotten Tomatoes) into an Oscar contender. Instead, Oscar winner Marion Cotillard snagged a second nomination for well-reviewed French drama Two Days, One Night.
Bradley Cooper. He shot into the best actor category for American Sniper, beating out David Oyelowo (Selma), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) and Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner).