Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart Among France's Cesar Awards Nominees

Clouds of Sils Maria Binoche Stewart H 2014
Courtesy of New York Film Festival

Clouds of Sils Maria Binoche Stewart H 2014

'12 Years a Slave,' 'Boyhood' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' are among the best foreign film nominees at the French Academy's 40th annual ceremony

France's Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for this year's Cesar Awards — the country's equivalent to the Oscars — in a morning ceremony at the famed Fouqet's restaurant on the Champs-Elysees.

Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent led with 10 nominations, including best film, best actor for Gaspard Ulliel and best director. The competing biopic Yves Saint Laurent from director Jalil Lespert received seven, including a nomination for best actor for Pierre Niney, though Lespert himself was left out.

The Oscar-nominated Timbuktu received eight, including the best film, director (for Abderrahmane Sissako) and original screenplay categories.

Thomas Cailley's Love at First Fight was the surprise of the morning, earning nine nominations for the director's first film, which was a hit when it debuted in Cannes Director's Fortnight sidebar.

Clouds of Sils Maria, which took home the prestigious Louis Delluc prize in December, earned six nominations, including best director for Olivier Assayas.

Academy president Alain Terzian read the list of nominees after lauding the 40th anniversary of the awards. Among this year's nominees are Kristen Stewart in the supporting actress category for her role in Sils Maria and best actress nominees Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Catherine Deneuve (In the Courtyard) and Juliette Binoche (Sils Maria).

Read more France 2014 in Review: Cannes Controversy, Netflix Launches

The nominees for best foreign film were 12 Years a Slave, Boyhood, Ida, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Two Days, One Night, Cannes jury prize winner Mommy and Palme d'Or winner Winter Sleep.

Sean Penn will receive the Academy's honorary Cesar this year, organizers announced Monday. Alain Resnais will get a tribute at the awards ceremony.

The 40th annual awards will be held on Feb. 20 — just two days ahead of the Oscars — at Paris' Chatelet Theatre. Beloved comedian Dany Boon will serve as chairman of the ceremony, with Edouard Baer set to host the show after Laurent Lafitte canceled for scheduling reasons.

Here are nominees in some key categories:

Best Film
Love at First Fight
Eastern Boys
The Belier Family
Saint Laurent
Sils Maria

Best Director
Celine Sciamma for Girlhood
Thomas Cailley for Love at First Fight
Robin Campillo for Eastern Boys
Thomas Lilti for Hippocrates
Bertrand Bonello for Saint Laurent
Olivier Assays for Sils Maria
Abderrahmane Sissako for Timbuktu

Best Actress
Juliette Binoche for Sils Maria
Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night
Catherine Deneuve for Dans la Cour
Emilie Dequenne for Not My Type
Adele Haenel for Love at First Fight
Sandrine Kiberlain for Elle l’Adore
Karin Viard for The Belier Family

Best Supporting Actress
Marianne Denicourt
for Hippocrates
Claude Gensac for Lulu in the Nude
Izia Higelin for Samba
Charlotte Le Bon for Yves Saint Laurent
Kristen Stewart for Sils Maria

Best Actor
Niels Arestrup for Diplomatie
Guillaume Canet for Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart
Francois Damines for The Belier Family
Romain Duris for The New Girlfriend
Vincent Lacoste for Hippocrates
Pierre Niney for Yves Saint Laurent
Gaspard Ulliel for Saint Laurent

Best Supporting Actor
Eric Elmosnino for The Belier Family
Guillaume Gallienne for Yves Saint Laurent
Louis Garrel for Saint Laurent
Reda Kateb for Hippocrates
Jeremie Renier for Saint Laurent

Best Original Screenplay
Thomas Cailley, Claude le Pape for Love at First Fight
Victoria Bedos, Stanislas Carre de Malberg, Eric Lartigau and Thomas Bidegain for The Belier Family
Thomas Lilti, Baya Kasmi, Julien Lilti and Pierre Chosson for Hippocrates
Oliver Assayas for Sils Maria
Abderrahmane Sissako, Kessen Tall for Timbuktu

Best Adapted Screenplay
Mathieu Almaric, Stephanie Cleau for The Blue Room
Cyril Gely, Volker Schlondorff for Diplomatie
Solveig Anspach, Jean-Luc Gaget for Lulu in the Nude
Lucas Belvaux for Not My Type
Cederic Anger for Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart

Best Costume
Pierre-Yves Gayraud
for The Beauty and the Beast
Carine Sarfati for The Connection
Anais Romand for Saint Laurent
Pascaline Chavanne for The New Girlfriend
Madeline Fontaine for Yves Saint Laurent 

Best Set Decoration
Thierry Flamand
for The Beauty and the Beast
Jean-Philippe Moreau for The Connection
Katia Wyszkop for Saint Laurent
Sebastian Birchler for Timbuktu
Aline Bonetto for Yves Saint Laurent

Best Cinemaphotography
Christophe Beaucarne
for The Beauty and the Beast
Josee Deshaies for Saint Laurent
Yorick le Saux for Sils Maria
Sofian el Fani for Timbuktu
Thomas Hardmeier for Yves Saint Laurent

Best Editing
Lilian Corbielle
for Love at First Fight
Christel Dewynter for Hippocrates
Frederic Baillehaiche for Party Girl
Fabrice Rouad for Saint Laurent
Nadia Ben Rachid for Timbuktu

Best Sound

Pierre Andre and Daniel Sobrino for Girlhood
Jean-Jacques Ferran, Nicolas Moreau, Jean-Pierre Laforce for Bird People
Jean-Luc Audy, Guillaume Bouchateau, Niels Barletta for Love at First Fight
Nicolas Cantin, Nicolas Moreau, Jean-Pierre Laforce for Saint Laurent
Philippe Welsh, Roman Dymn, Thierry Delor for Timbuktu

Best Animated Film
Le Chant de la Mer
Jack and the Cuckooclock Heart

Best First Film
Love at First Fight by Thomas Cailley
Elle l’Adore by Jeanne Herry
Fidelio by Lucie Borleteau
Party Girl by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger and Samuel Theis
May Allah Bless France by Abd al Malik

Best New Actress
Lou de Laage
for Breathe
Louane Emera for The Belier Family
Josephine Japy for Breathe
Ariane Labed for Fidelio
Karidja Toure for Girlhood

Best New Actor
Kevin Azais
for Love at First Fight
Ahmed Drame for Les Heritiers
Kirill Emelyanov for Eastern Boys
Pierre Rochefort for Going Away
Marc Zinga for May Allah Bless France