Colin Firth Wins Best Actor Award

Venice Film Festival accolade is "possibly greatest honour of my life"

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Chiswick actor Colin Firth has won the best actor at the Venice film festival for his portrayal of a gay academic in the film A Single Man.

During his acceptance speech, which is gave in fluent Italian, Firth said winning the prestigious award for his role in the film based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood and directed by designer Tom Ford was "possibly the greatest honour of my life".

He told the Observer newspaper, "I rarely seem to come home from Italy empty-handed – wine, balsamic vinegar, wife, two children, and now a nice piece of silverware."

Industry sources are now tipping him to receive an Oscar nomination for his sensitive and touching portrayal of a gay man plunged into a mid-life crisis after the accidental death of his lover.

Of his film directing debut, fashion designer Tom Ford called A Single Man the "most personal and artistically satisfying project" of his career.

September 21, 2009