They’re both British, both parents-to-be and both stars of The Imitation Game.
Cumberbatch, 38, who this week confirmed his fiancée Sophie Hunter is expecting their first child, received a leading actor nomination for his portrayal of mathematician Alan Turing in the World War II biopic.
Knightley, 29, who is also expecting a baby, has been shortlisted for supporting actress.
The Imitation Game received nine nominations in all, only two behind leading contender The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Birdman and The Theory of Everything have 10 each.
In the leading actress category, English-born Felicity Jones (The Theory Of Everything) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) are up against Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Amy Adams (Big Eyes) and Julianne Moore (Still Alice).
Meanwhile, Emma Stone (Birdman), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and Rene Russo (Nightcrawler) take on Imelda Staunton (Pride) and Knightley for supporting actress.
Cumberbatch, meanwhile, goes up against fellow Brits Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) and Ralph Fiennes (Budapest Hotel), plus Americans Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) and Michael Keaton (Birdman).
Supporting actor nominations have gone to Edward Norton (Birdman), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) and Steve Carell (Foxcatcher).
For a full list of nominees, click here.
The 2015 British Academy Film Awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), take place at London’s Royal Opera House on Sunday, Feb. 8.
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