Annapurna Pushing James Franco in 'Spring Breakers' for Oscar?
"Spring break... spring break forever..." Say what now? That crazy fool with cornrows and grills is getting an Oscar push? Indeed. One of the most buzzed about indie films from this year's Toronto Film Festival (where I saw it myself) was Harmony Korine's wacky Spring Breakers, a spring break drama starring the likes of James Franco as well as mainly three girls: Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson. It was a surprisingly entertaining film and earned lots of fascinating buzz because of Franco's over-the-top but also wildly impressive and layered performance. Now it will get an Oscar-qualifying December opening.
The release news comes from Showbiz 411, where they say that Annapurna Pictures is planning to release Harmony Korine's wacky Spring Breakers limited in December of this year for an Oscar qualifying run "so that Franco is eligible." He would be in the running for Best Supporting Actor, since he's not the lead, but has a chance considering how insanely memorable and wacky yet genuine his performance is, but it reminds me more of Saul from Pineapple Express than anything that would actually earn an Oscar. Are voters going to be interested in this kind of gritty, young, cornrowed patriotically over-the-top character? I'm not so sure.
The report goes on to say that Annapurna Pictures, owned by Megan Ellison who funded The Master, will "get screeners into voters’ hands, and or get Academy members into screening rooms ASAP." It's a very surprising and odd push for a character that, while I loved and was amused by, I don't expect the Academy voters to connect with, especially up against the likes of other films with strong supporting roles including The Master, Argo, Cloud Atlas, Les Miserables, Lincoln and possibly even Django Unchained. However, I will say one thing - when this is released, it's a must see. Pretty much an instant cult classic in the making.