Since James Franco started popping up on critics' awards lists -- most notably with that tied LAFCA win -- for his off-the-wall performance in "Spring Breakers," I've noticed a lot of readers dismissing him as a "joke" contender. (Isn't that the inside-the-box thinking for which we usually chastise voters?) But while A24 has been appropriately playful with their campaign, it's no joke to them, nor to Franco himself. He talks to Mark Olsen: "Honestly, I don't know why people say, 'Really? Is this a real campaign?' I'm an Academy voter. I've been nominated for an Oscar. I'm more proud of this performance than anything that I've done ... I've been working in this industry for 16 years. I know when I'm a part of something that's cutting edge. I want to go out and say yeah … consider it."  [LA Times]

Steve Pond notes the expansion of the Academy this year: with 172 new recruits, 6,028 people are now eligible to vote. [The Wrap]

Like Father, Like Son" and "The Lunchbox" -- both controversially out of the foreign Oscar race -- were the big winners at the Asia Pacific Film Festival. [Screen Daily]

With the spectacular hairdos of "American Hustle" now in line for Oscar recognition, Esther Zuckerman ranks them. Can't argue with that #1. [The Wire

Oscar-winning editor Christopher Rouse talks about ratcheting up the tension -- and letting the performances speak to him -- in "Captain Phillips." [Below the Line]

John Goodman on sandwiches, celebrity and his ongoing collaboration (six films and counting) with the Coen Brothers. [Vanity Fair]

"The Wolf of Wall Street" has fallen foul of animal rights activists, who are calling for a boycott. [The Guardian]

Okay, so every awards geek has their favorite acceptance speeches of all time -- but what are the greatest award presentations ever? (Wiig and Ferrell FTW, if you ask me.) [The Film Experience]

It's been a sad weekend in Hollywood: not only did we lose Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine, but character actor turned independent filmmaker Tom Laughlin too. [Variety]