Oscar favourite Colin Firth was left empty-handed last night after Andrew Garfield beat him to the best actor gong at the Evening Standard British Film Awards.
The star of The Social Network and Never Let Me Go was recognised at a ceremony at the London Film Museum in County Hall on the banks of the River Thames.
There was more disappointment for The King's Speech, which stars Firth as the stammering monarch George VI, when it did not even make the shortlist for best film. That prize went to Peter Mullan's Neds, a coming-of-age drama about teenage gangs in 1970s Glasgow.
Evening Standard film critic Derek Malcolm said: “Despite our admiration for The King's Speech, which has deservedly become one of the most successful British films for some time and has already won many awards, the jury felt that Peter Mullan's Neds deserved our prize this year.
“An original drama of great skill, power and human sympathy, the film reflects directly on the present as well as the past in which it is set.”
Kristin Scott Thomas picked up the best actress award for her performance in the French film Leaving.