The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences passed on Colin Firth's gay role in A Single Man Sunday, opting instead to give the Best Actor prize to Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart.

Despite an expanded field of 10 movies, Tom Ford's directorial debut was not nominated in the Best Picture category. Critics had lauded the film, setting up expectations of an Oscar nod.

Last month, Firth took home the main acting prize at the UK's Bafta Film Awards. And at the film's premier at the Venice International Film Festival, Firth's interpretation of despondent 1960s professor George Falconer won him the festival's best actor prize.

Firth stars in Tom Ford's big-screen adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel of the same name. Falconer is middle aged, gay and British. And living in Los Angeles when his longtime lover dies suddenly. Throughout the movie we see Falconer as he struggles with his loss.

Playing George, Firth told Variety, was an opportunity to experience a range of subtle emotions.

“[George] was smart, and the way he masks his massive despair is poignant,” Firth said. “That obsession with external perfection is a sign of panic. He has to control his exterior world because his interior one is chaos. His precision is all desperate measures.”