Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are both in line for Baftas after being nominated for their roles in the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything.
The nominations were announced at Bafta's central London HQ in Piccadilly.
Redmayne faces competition from stars including Michael Keaton and Benedict Cumberbatch for the best actor award, while Jones is up against names including Amy Adams and Reese Witherspoon.
The other actors in the running against Redmayne are Ralph Fiennes and Jake Gyllenhaal.
Redmayne, who has already been short-listed for the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards for his role, was hot favourite to win the Bafta even before today's nominations.
The critics have raved about his performance in The Theory Of Everything which is based on the memoirs of Hawking's ex-wife Jane which deals with their relationship, his scientific success and the onset of motor neurone disease which left him severely disabled.
Jones, who plays his wife, also faces competition from Gone Girl star Rosamund Pike and Julianne Moore.
Other nominations include nods for Keira Knightley and Imelda Staunton for best supporting actress and Steve Carell and Ethan Hawke for best supporting actor.
The awards, seen as a dry run for the Oscars, will be handed out on Sunday February 8 at a glittering ceremony at London's Royal Opera House.
Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel heads the nominations list with 11, one ahead of Keaton's Birdman and The Theory of Everything.
The Imitation Game received nine nods.
All four are on the short-list for Best Film along with Richard Linklater's Boyhood.
The US director said it was "thrilling" to be recognised.
Among The Theory Of Everything's other nominations are for best British film, best adapted screenplay and best director for James Marsh.
Mike Leigh's Mr Turner is nominated for four awards including costume design and make up and hair but there was no recognition for Timothy Spall's performance in the title role which won him the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
David Oyelowo's performance as US civil rights leader Martin Luther King in Selma was also ignored by Bafta.
The battle for best British film sees the Hawking biopic face competition from '71 - a drama set in Belfast in the early years of the troubles - and Paddington which starred Ben Whishaw and Nicole Kidman and was based on author Michael Bond's books about the marmalade sandwich-loving bear.
Also nominated is Pride - based on the real-life alliance between gay rights activists and striking miners in the 1980s - and science fiction thriller Under The Skin.
Among the other awards presented on the night is the Rising Star, which recognises the best new talent.
Unbroken actor Jack O'Connell is among those nominated along with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who starred in last year's period drama Belle as a mixed-race aristocrat, and Margot Robbie, who first found fame playing Donna Freedman in TV soap Neighbours and has gone on to appear in The Wolf Of Wall Street.
Also in the running for the gong, formally known as the EE Rising Star Award, are Miles Teller, who has recently appeared in Whiplash, and his Divergent co-star Shailene Woodley.
Fiennes, nominated for his turn as the devoted concierge in The Grand Budapest Hotel, said: "I'm delighted of course, merci Madame Bafta. Dom Perignon all around for guests and staff at The Grand Budapest Hotel. And a free sample of Eau de Panache too, darling."