LOS ANGELES (AP) – "Birdman," ''Boyhood" and a host of now regulars on the awards circuit were among the top films listed in the 20th Critics' Choice Movie Awards nominations Monday, but it was Wes Anderson's darkly whimsical "The Grand Budapest Hotel" that surprised with 11 nominations.
In addition to nods for the film, the direction, the script and the cinematography, star Ralph Fiennes was also recognized in two acting categories: best actor and best actor in a comedy.
Though beloved by critics and a box office success, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" was seen as a dark horse in the awards race due in part to its March release date. But after earning four Golden Globe nominations last week, the quirky film could be rising in awards stature as Hollywood awaits the start of Oscar nominations voting.
"Birdman" scored the most nominations, though, with 13 in categories such as best picture and best director for Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu. Lead Michael Keaton and his co-stars Emma Stone and Edward Norton all scored acting nods as well. The dark showbiz comedy also recently earned the most nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.
Richard Linklater's 12-year film "Boyhood" got eight nominations, including best picture, director, best supporting actor and actress for Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette, and best ensemble.
The Broadcast Film Critics Association also recognized "Gone Girl," ''The Imitation Game," ''Selma," ''The Theory of Everything," ''Nightcrawler," ''Unbroken" and "Whiplash" with multiple nominations, including best picture.
For the most part, the major acting nominees matched that of the recent awards nominations including Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Imitation Game"), Eddie Redmayne ("The Theory of Everything"), Reese Witherspoon ("Wild") and Julianne Moore ("Still Alice").
Notably, Angelina Jolie, whose "Unbroken" was shut out of Globes nominations, picked up a best directing nod here in addition to Ava DuVernay ("Selma") and David Fincher ("Gone Girl").
The Critics' Choice Awards have a solid track record of matching the eventual best picture Oscar winner. They also honor achievements in genre films including action, comedy and sci-fi/horror, and include categories such as best young actor and actress, allowing for movies such as "Edge of Tomorrow," ''22 Jump Street" and "The Babadook" to sneak into the mix.
Awards will be presented live from Hollywood on Jan. 15. Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner and Ron Howard will all receive special awards during the ceremony, hosted by "Live with Kelly and Michael's" Michael Strahan.