Comic confection "The Grand Budapest Hotel" was the surprise front-runner for the British Academy Film Awards, while English acting darlings Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch will compete in the best-actor category.

Wes Anderson's "Hotel" received 11 nominations Friday, including best picture and best director. Ralph Fiennes was nominated for best actor as the unflappable concierge.

Acting nominees also include Michael Keaton, as a washed-up actor in "Birdman." The movie was nominated in 10 categories, as was "The Theory of Everything," which stars Redmayne as physicist Stephen Hawking. Jake Gyllenhaal was also nominated for his performance in "Nightcrawler."

Best-actress nominees are Felicity Jones for "The Theory of Everything," Amy Adams for "Big Eyes," Julianne Moore for "Still Alice," Rosamund Pike for "Gone Girl" and Reese Witherspoon for "Wild."

The best-picture nominees are "Birdman," "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything."

Winners of the awards, known as BAFTAs, will be decided by its members and announced Feb. 8.

Honors for Jill Scott

Essence magazine will celebrate its 45th anniversary with a pre-Grammys bash featuring Jill Scott and Chaka Khan. The magazine said Friday that the sixth annual Black Women In Music event will honor Scott, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actress. The Feb. 5 event will also feature performances by Khan, Brandy and Lianne La Havas. The 57th annual Grammy Awards will take place Feb. 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. It will air live on CBS.

Pricey debut: An acetate recording of the ballad "My Happiness," the first song Elvis Presley ever recorded, sold at auction for $300,000 to an undisclosed buyer. Presley recorded it in 1953 at Sun Records, the Memphis studio operated by Sam Phillips. Presley, then 18, paid $4 for the recording. Presley left Sun and went to the home of friend Ed Leek to listen to it. Presley, whose family did not have a record player, left the record there.

Farewell: Rod Taylor, the Australian-born actor who starred in "The Time Machine" and in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," and made a memorable appearance as Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," died of a heart attack in Los Angeles. He was 84. He appeared with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in "The V.I.P.s" and had starring roles in "A Gathering of Eagles" and "Fate is the Hunter."

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