The Oscar nominees for Best Picture are announced by Chris Pine and Academy President Cheryl Boone during the Academy Awards Nominations Announcement at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California. AFP Photo.

BEVERLY HILLS: Show business satire “Birdman” and colourful caper “The Grand Budapest Hotel” led the Academy Awards nominees with nine nods apiece, including best picture, in the quest for Hollywood’s top film prize.

The other best picture nominees are “American Sniper,” “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game,” “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash.” The Academy chose only eight films, although it can nominate up to 10.

British World War Two biopic “The Imitation Game” garnered eight nominations, including best actor for Benedict Cumberbatch, while Iraq war portrait “American Sniper” and Golden Globe winner for best drama, “Boyhood,” each earned six.

The Oscars are given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This year’s winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris in Los Angeles on Feb. 22.

The nominees

Best supporting actress: Patricia Arquette - Boyhood, Laura Dern - Wild, Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game, Emma Stone - Birdman, Meryl Streep -Into the Woods.

Best supporting actor: Robert Duvall -The Judge, Ethan Hawke - Boyhood, Edward Norton - Birdman, Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher, J.K. Simmons - Whiplash.

Best actor: Steve Carell - Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper - American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game, Michael Keaton - Birdman, Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything.

Best picture: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash.

Best director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu - Birdman, Richard Linklater - Boyhood, Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher, Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel, Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game.--REUTERS