The 5 Biggest Awards Surprises of the Past 24 Hours

Beginners Christopher Plummer - H 2011

Beginners Christopher Plummer - H 2011

1. Beginners beats The Descendants to win best feature (tying with The Tree of Life) and best ensemble at the Gothams
The last two films to win best feature and best ensemble at the Gothams -- The Hurt Locker (2009) and Winter's Bone (2010) -- both went on to score best picture Oscar nods.

PHOTOS: Gotham Awards 2011

2. Presumptive Oscar nominees George Clooney (The Descendants) and Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) snubbed by Indie Spirits
The A-listers were somehow excluded despite the fact that The Descendants was nom'd for feature, director (Alexander Payne), and screenplay (Payne and Nat Faxon), and that Close's co-star Janet McTeer scored a supporting nod.

PHOTOS: 'The Descendants' Premiere Red Carpet

3. Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) beats Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) to win best breakthrough actor at the Gothams
Five of the last seven winners of this honor went on to score Oscar nods: Catalina Sandino Moreno for Maria Full of Grace (2004), Amy Adams for Junebug (2005), Rinko Kikuchi for Babel (2006), Ellen Page for Juno (2007), and Melissa Leo for Frozen River (2008).

STORY: The Scene: Inside the 21st Annual Gotham Awards

4. Midnight in Paris was denied major nods at the Indie Spirits
Woody Allen's charming little film was snubbed for feature, director, and screenplay, but was nominated for best supporting actor (Corey Stoll for his portrayal of Ernest Hemingway) and best cinematography.

PHOTOS: THR's Actress Roundtable 2011

5. The Tree of Life surges back to life at Gothams, with New York Film Critics Circle
Terrence Malick's poetic $32 million epic stretches the definition of "an indie," but it scored a win for best feature at the Gothams (tying with Beginners) and the NYFCC named Brad Pitt best actor and Jessica Chastain best supporting actress.