Firth, who won the same honor last year for his role in Tom Ford's "A Single Man," is considered the front-runner for the Oscar in the same category. The top British film award and the Oscars have aligned fairly closely in recent years.
His competition was Javier Bardem for "Biutiful," Jeff Bridges for "True Grit," Jesse Eisenberg for "The Social Network" and James Franco for "127 Hours."
The awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, were handed out at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London.
Photo of Colin Firth from Getty Images.