James Franco Joins Best Supporting Actor Race With ‘Spring Breakers’

This is certainly surprising. It’s been reported that James Franco may very well have the chance to hear his name called out for the second time on the morning the Oscar nominations are announced. Franco is said to be joining the race for consideration with his role in Harmony Korine’s twisted spring break film Spring Breakers. In the film Franco plays a transformed grill wearing, Britney Spears singing, twangy rapper Alien, who loves guns, flashy clothing, and revels in the youth of three spring break girls played by Ashley Benson, Selena Gomez, and Vanessa Hudgens.

Although reviews for Spring Breakers have been positive for Franco’s performance since its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, the film still remains without a theatrical release date that would qualify it for Oscar attention. However, hoping to stir buzz over Franco’s performance while getting voters interested in viewing the film Annapurna Pictures has decided to push screeners of the film out in December for academy voting members only.

Showbiz 411 who first obtained the scoop on James Franco’s Oscar consideration, is calling his cornrow wearing turn in Spring Breakers as, “some of Franco’s best work, and certainly one of the top 5 supporting performances by an actor this season. At first when you see Franco with his cornrows, tattoos, and grillwork, you think he’s playing some run of the mill cheeseball drug dealing pimp. Then you realize that it’s a real character Franco has created, and Alien becomes quite the layered persona.”

This is a pretty bold statement considering Franco’s past work. In 2010 the actor was nominated for his isolating role as Aron Ralston in 127 Hours. Although he didn’t stand a chance next to Colin Firth who took home the gold for The King’s Speech, Franco’s performance pulled in a lot of critic’s support and earned him his second Independent Spirit Award. This year if he’s considered he could possibly go up against strong character actors who usually dominate this category. So far Tommy Lee Jones, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Robert DeNiro are in the lead for nominations in this category.

Will there be any room for James Franco this year? With the announcement that Seth MacFarlane will be hosting you never know what the Academy is willing to do for a few surprises.