Franco joins Oscar race thanks to Santa Barbara award

Franco will be handed the Outstanding Performance of the Year award at the January (11) event for his role as young adventurer Aron Ralson in new movie 127 Hours.

The gripping film chronicles Ralson’s battle for survival in Utah’s Moab Desert after his arm is crushed by a boulder deep within a canyon.

Franco will join an illustrious group of previous Outstanding Performance Award recipients, including Colin Firth, Penelope Cruz, Angelina Jolie, Helen Mirren and the late Heath Ledger.