The Artist and Hugo have both been given major Oscars boosts after landing 11 nominations apiece for the 2012 Critics' Choice Awards.
The two films, which have already picked up early awards, will compete for the Best Picture at the 17th annual Critics' Choice Awards, as selected by the Broadcast Film Critics Association in America.
They will be up against Midnight in Paris, Drive, The Help, Moneyball, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Tree of Life and War Horse.
George Clooney (The Descendants), Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Ryan Gosling (Drive), Brad Pitt (Moneyball), Michael Fassbender (Shame) and Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar) will compete for the Best Actor prize.
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady), Viola Davis (The Help), Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn), Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Charlize Theron (Young Adult) and Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) make up the Best Actress category.
Christopher Plummer, Albert Brooks, Kenneth Branagh, Nick Nolte, Patton Oswalt, Andy Serkis, Octavia Spencer, Shailene Woodley, Berenice Bejo, Melissa MCCarthy, Jessica Chastain and Carey Mulligan will compete for the supporting actor and actress prizes.
Meanwhile, Alexander Payne (The Descendants), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive), Steven Spielberg (War Horse), Martin Scorsese (Hugo) and Stephen Daldry (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) will fight it out for Best Director.
The Critics' Choice Awards take place on 12 January (12).
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.