James Franco's Spring Breakers Schedules Oscar-Qualifying Release

By Katey Rich 2012-10-15 09:16:11discussion comments
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I didn't spend a ton of time at the Toronto International Film Festival this year, but in the time I was there it was clear that Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers had emerged as the cult favorite among critics. An appropriately weird, almost surreal spin on classic dumb spring break movies from the director who brought you Trash Humpers and Julien Donkey Boy, Spring Breakers follows four college girls (including former Disney stars Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez) on spring break in Florida engaging in pretty much every imaginable kind of debauchery, from doing drugs to armed robbery to shacking up with James Franco.

Yes, good old James Franco, up for doing anything so long as it's unexpected. His performance as tatted-up drug kingpin Alien is easily the best thing in the movie, getting all the best lines ("Look at my shit!") and creating a magnetic center to a story that feels a little repetitive. There's a big difference between a performance lauded by critics for being batshit insane and a performance that gets someone an Oscar, but Franco is getting ready to try and cross that divide with an honest-to-God Oscar campaign for Spring Breakers in the works.

According to Showbiz 411, Annapurna Pictures-- the same people who funded Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master and Kathryn Bigelow's upcoming Zero Dark Thirty-- will release Spring Breakers in time for awards season eligibility, specifically so Franco can earn a Best Supporting Actor nod. How likely that nomination will be is pretty uncertain-- Franco's competition would include Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, Alan Arkin, Robert DeNiro and Leonardo DiCaprio, among others-- but hey, you can't win if you don't even try to play.

I have a really hard time imagining the typically older, more conservative Academy voters even making it far enough into Spring Breakers to see Franco's character appear, but maybe some of the younger members will give it a shot. Either way, it's fun to see a genuine oddball enter Oscar season-- if nothing else, the critics who crowded into Spring Breakers at Toronto ought to be Franco's champions.
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