Newcomers and veteran artists assembled at The Hollywood Palladium for the 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards on Thursday night, where Richard Linklater’s 12-year project “Boyhood” took home Best Picture, as well as three other awards. “Boyhood’s” 20-year-old Ellar Coltrane received the “Best Young Actor or Actress” prize, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’sBirdman” also emerged a big winner, scoring seven awards.

Birdman’s Michael Keaton became the first person in the twenty-year history of the awards to win three honors in a single year.

Younger actors, including “Annie’s” Quvenzhane Wallis and “The Grand Budapest Hotel’s” Tony Revolori, were also recognized at the awards ceremony, which returned to Hollywood this year after being held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica for the two years prior.

On what drew her to the role of “Annie,” 11-year-old Wallis counted her fingers and said, “I watched the movie about one, two… a million times.”  While she was excited to sing and dance with her fellow young actors, Wallis noted, “I am not a professional dancer, but I’ve been dancing since I knew how to walk.”

During the awards show, Revolori — who plays Zero, the lobby boy, in Wes Anderson’s film — accepted the Best Comedy or Musical award for the director.

Revolori told Variety that his brother had also auditioned for the part, but hadn’t made the cut. “I think he’s handling it well,” 18-year-old Revolori said. “He cries himself to sleep sometimes, but it’s ok.”

Another new face accepting an award was “Gone Girl” screenwriter Gillian Flynn, who took home the Best Adapted Screenplay Award for the story she adapted from her own novel.

“I was really thrilled to adapt it myself,” said Flynn, who noted that she chose to work with David Fincher because she felt they had similar senses of humor and interests in “the dark side.” She knowingly accepted all responsibility. “Then I figured I couldn’t blame anyone but myself if it didn’t turn out well.”

Also nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category was “The Theory of Everything” — a project which took screenwriter Anthony McCarten eight years to write, with help from Jane and Stephen Hawking. The couple was at first opposed to the idea, for fear that their story and images would not be portrayed properly.

But McCarten had become so intrigued by Hawking’s story that he hopped on a train and knocked on doors until he found the couple.

“My intentions were very honorable,” he said. “I was just crazy obsessed with the story. I thought I knew all about Stephen Hawking, and I think most people did, but Jane’s book revealed a whole new dimension to him, and also revealed Jane’s story — her role in [his] determination, refusing to let Stephen be silenced by this brutal disease.”

Just as stories that took decades to come to fruition were honored at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, so were career-long achievements. Kevin Costner received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Ron Howard received the Louis XII Genius Award and Jessica Chastain took home the first Critics’ Choice MVP award.

After the live broadcast, partygoers moved on to the Hollywood Athletic Club, where seven rooms housed different choices of food, with options (such as pizza, pasta and Mexican) as unique as the nominees themselves.