Beaufoy talks Franco Oscar chances

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James Franco is being tipped as Colin Firth's main rival for the Best Actor Oscar

James Franco is “going to have to do a lot” to beat Colin Firth in this year’s Oscar race, according to 127 Hours’ screenwriter Simon Beaufoy.

“I think it’s an amazing year for performances,” Danny Boyle’s writing partner confessed in Hollywood at the Writers Guild Awards.

“Colin Firth is extraordinary, James Franco is extraordinary, but the two performances are just miles apart from each other,” the Oscar nominee said.

“They’re both incredible but different in their ways beyond any comparison.”

Some critics in the States say Franco, who is hosting this year’s ceremony alongside Anne Hathaway, could be the only man to keep Colin from winning the Academy Award for Best Actor.

The young star had to tackle a challenging role in telling the real life story of a trapped climber who had to cut off his own arm to escape death.

“Can you imagine that story with an actor that wasn’t on fire? It just wouldn’t work at all, his performance is utterly compelling,” Simon explained.

“I think that’s why there’s been so much talk about people fainting, there’s nothing gory in the film it’s just the intensity of his performance that gets you so involved.”

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