BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (Reuters) - Show business satire "Birdman" and colorful caper "The Grand Budapest Hotel" led the Academy Awards nominees on Thursday 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.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy and Mary Milliken; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)