Oscar Update

In what might be the zaniest thing to happen all award season (yep, I’m saying that this early), it was announced yesterday that James Franco and Anne Hathaway will host the Oscars next year, February 27, 2011. This seems kind of nutty to me for a few reasons:
  1. James Franco will almost undoubtedly be nominated for Best Leading Actor for his excellent work in 127 Hours. While early buzzers say Colin Firth is more likely to win for The King’s Speech, Franco is definitely generating a ton of buzz, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a nominee (read: a potential winner) hosting. It just doesn’t sit right with me.

  2. Both actors did well on their respective stints as SNL hosts, but neither is particularly known for their comedic chops. At least not the same way as actual comedians, like past hosts Jon Stewart, David Letterman or Billy Crystal. Hathaway sings, which bodes well for an opening number, but after that, who wants to listen to Franco and Hathaway make jokes about their colleagues? Again, this doesn’t sit right.

  3. Will these two have any chemistry? Last year, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin together were popping off the screen with their rat-a-tat repartee. Though both Franco and Hathaway are lovely to look at and are talented actors (i.e., they could possibly feign chemistry), they seem so mismatched. Franco is the eternal student, a kind of kooky intellectual actor (say it with affect – ac-tore), and Hathaway the bright and bubbly ingĂ©nue. Once again, this just doesn’t sit right.
But, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they’ll be terrific together. Maybe this is a signal that the award show will focus more on the awards, and not on the host(ess) with the most(ess). (Or, maybe it’s a signal that the Oscar broadcast producers think that the appealing Franco and Hathaway will draw a crowd, particularly the coveted 18-29 demographic. Said producers did claim in a press release on oscars.org that “James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons.” True enough, but so do other people (or other pairings) who might make better hosts. Whatever the actual motivation behind this odd couple choice, it’s getting people talking about the Oscars. Mission: Accomplished?)

What do you think about this hosting selection? Leave you thoughts in the comment section below.