The British actor, 50, who won the Golden Globe for best actor in The King's Speech this weekend, has been nominated in the same category for Britain's BAFTA Film Awards – with the film itself gaining the most nods, 14, among all contenders.
Black Swan is the next most-honored film, with its star Natalie Portman, another Globe winner, nominated for best actress.
Other notable nominees: Pete Postlethwaite, who died this month, received a posthumous supporting actor nomination for The Town. And 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld earned a best-actress nod for True Grit.
Firth is competing against Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and James Franco (127 Hours).
Portman and Steinfeld will chase the best-actress prize with Annette Bening and Julianne Moore (both from The Kids Are All Right) and Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).
See the full list of nominees here.