Colin Firth receives Oscar nomination for gay role

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Bridget Jones Diary star Colin Firth has been nominated for an Oscar for his performance in A Single Man.

The British star will compete against George Clooney in Up In The Air, Morgan Freeman in Invictus and Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker for the best actor award at the Academy Awards next month.

The film's depiction of a gay college professor trying to deal with the bereavement over his long-term partner's death has already scored a best picture nomination at the prestigious Venice Film Festival.

Based on Christopher Isherwood's 1964 novel the movie is gay fashion designer Tom Ford's directional debut. Playing down the gay aspect Ford has said the gay theme was not what drew him to make the film of Isherwood's book.

"It's really a film about love and isolation that I think all of us feel, so it is very universal," Ford says. "When I see someone who sees the film and says, ' It's a gay story,' I don't even know what they are thinking, it just seems to me a human story."

Conversely, and in relation to the film, Firth has spoken out about the "Inivisible Boundaries" that block out gay actors from securing leading roles.

In an interview with gay media website PinkNews the star said "If you're known as a straight guy, playing a gay role, you get rewarded for that. If you're a gay man and you want to play a straight role, you don't get cast - and if a gay man wants to play a gay role now, you don't get cast.

"I think it needs to be addressed and I feel complicit in the problem. I don't mean to be. I think we should all be allowed to play whoever"

Similarly he told Parade magazine in December that Hollywood "constrains" gay actors.

Having starred in several highly successful British films including Love Actually and Mamma Mia! It is Firth's first ever Oscars nod.

The 82nd Academy Awards takes place on March 7th in Los Angeles.

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Gary Cosby writes for social networking sites.

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Gary Cosby is company copy, media and technical writer for Virtual Universe Ltd. His weekly news blogs Mand8 Out-Takes and Maleforce Flasher feature international news articles. Gary also provides site copy for social networking websites and

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