It's Colin Firth's birthday today so what way to celebrate than with a look back at his best movies?
Fever Pitch (1996)
One of Firth's early star-making roles came in this Nick Hornby adaptation. He plays a footie-mad school teacher torn between his girlfriend and his love of the beautiful game – can he reconcile the two? Plus, watch out for a scene-stealing Mark Strong as his best mate.
Bridget Jones' Diary (2001)
As the stuffed-shirt love interest Mark Darcy to plummy singleton Bridget (Renee Zellweger), Firth is at his droll best. Indeed at first Mark comes across as quite slappable – but of course beneath that dour exterior he's the perfect person for our Bridget. And he engages in possibly the funniest fist fight ever with the slimy Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant).
A Single Man (2009)
Firth dialled down his innate charm for Tom Ford's heartrending adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's story. As repressed Brit George, a grieving man living a bohemian existence in California, the actor commands every facet of his voice and body language to suggest someone consumed by sadness. It got Firth an Oscar nomination and helped solidify him as an actor of serious repute.
The King's Speech (2010)
The actor finally secured that long-overdue Oscar with his commanding performance as stammering King George VI. Firth joyously delves behind the royal exterior to explore a man coming to terms with a very recognisable condition, enjoying excellent chemistry with Geoffrey Rush as the King's eventual speech therapist Lionel Logue.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
This moody John Le Carre adaptation is steeped in tobacco-stained, Cold War atmosphere. It's also the epitome of an ensemble cast with an Oscar-nommed Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and more giving exceptional performances. It's a testament to Firth that his wily character Bill Haydon stands out, hanging back until the crucial moment where the full force of the actor's brilliant performance comes to light.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Colin Firth: action man? This ridiculously entertaining spy adventure makes us wonder what he would have been like as James Bond, so utterly does he through himself into the role of Harry Hart. The character is the highlight of Matthew Vaughn's graphic novel adaptation (taken from the mind of Mark Millar) and the utterly crazed church scene shows us a Firth we never thought possible.
Want more Firth? Don't forget that Kingsman: The Golden Circle arrives in Cineworld on 20th September.