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4 YEARS

Andrew Garfield Beats Colin Firth at Evening Standard Awards

Andrew Garfield
Courtesy of Sony Pictures

It's not a shocker that another critics' panel picked The Social Network star Andrew Garfield over frontrunner Colin Firth. But look for a different result at BAFTA on Sunday.

Garfield didn't show up for Monday's London Evening Standard Awards, which were massively overshadowed by L.A.'s Oscar luncheon. Still, they won't slow down his rising star (nor hurt the other movie he was awarded for, the foolishly and cruelly underrated Never Let Me Go, whose writer Alex Garland got a British Independent Film Awards best screenplay nom and who's purging his mind of highbrow lit by penning the comic-book epic Dredd, as Garfield becomes Spider-Man). "I really, really appreciate it and intend to let this spur me and provide more fuel for my fire," Garfield said on video at the awards.

Critic Caryn James says, "It’s hard to believe that these awards, determined by a jury of British critics, mean anything when the best actress prize was an even wackier choice. Kristin Scott Thomas was named best actress for Leaving, a ludicrous French film in which she is a middle-class married woman who has an affair with a working-class man and goes a little psycho." She didn't show up for her award either.

"Despite our admiration for The King's Speech," said one of the six judges, Derek Malcolm, "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." Meaning: The King's Speech is irrelevant to today, but a movie about 1970s teen gangs is not.

Inception's Christopher Nolan won the Alexander Walker Special Award for contributions to film.

The King's Speech leads the noms for this weekend's more important British Academy Film Awards at 14, with 12 for Black Swan.