Didn’t see that coming.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway, both expected to be Academy Award nominees themselves this year, have been selected to host the show.

Surface-wise, it has to be primarily seen as “youth re-branding” by The Academy – scooping up two actors more in the age, persona and career-phase one associates with the MTV Movie awards (Hathaway is a Disney-escapee branching out bigtime, Franco is basically the art-school-student-ironically-pretending-to-be-a-homeless-street-musician-to-stay-“in-the-real” of movie stars at this point) to headline what’s increasingly seen as an older-audiences event.

What makes it more than a little unusual – and will come more to the forefront once the nominations solidify – is that both of them are very heavily-favored as serious contenders for awards themselves this year, he for “127 Hours” and she for “Love & Other Drugs.” Sure, it “shouldn’t” matter if the person hosting the show also wins if they gave the “best” performance… but everyone knows it will because “it’ll look weird.”

Honestly, I think that may be what The Academy is banking on, at least in-part: Deliberately going after a pair of likely nominees in order to generate interest via an “oh noes!! what’s gonna happen!!??” drama to draw a bigger audience: “What if one of them wins!?” “GASP! What if they LOSE!? Will there be all kinds of bitterness to the jokes after that!” “GASP! What if only ONE of them wins!? Will the banter go all edgy!?”

Meh, it’s an interesting choice either way. I don’t think either of them are likely to actually win – “127 Hours” is pretty far outside The Academy’s comfort-zone (plus Colin Firth is “due” and will be the frontrunner for his performance in “Dignified WWII-Era Upper-Class English Historical Drama #5,981”) and Best Actress is looking like Natalie Portman’s to lose at this point – but the “drama” probably will rope the People Magazine/“Dancing With The Stars” audience. On the brighter side, they’re both fun – Franco is a real wild-card unafraid of playing chicken with his dignity, and I can certainly think of worse things to look at for four hours than Anne Hathaway…

4 thoughts on “weird…

  1. Elessar says:

    Really? Colin Firth? Based on the hype, I'd have expected Best Actor to go to either Franco or (now more than ever) Jesse Spencer, since they're unlikely to want to give it Best Picture and it has some HEAVY competition for Adapted Screenplay next month in the form of True Grit.

    And before anyone says anything YES I'm sure the screenplay on True Grit will be good. It's a Coen Brother film.


  2. Arturo says:

    Looking at Anne Hathaway for 4 hours???
    I have to agree the wild card factor that is Franco. He can do both drama AND comedy. Fun fact: he started with comedy, at one point teaming up with Seth Rogen and then getting back together to make Pineapple Express, IMO, a damn funny movie. I'm also looking forward to Your Highness, although Danny McBride's character may push him to the side due to character heirarchy. Also, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschannel are in it.
    (again, swoon)


  3. Christopher says:

    Maybe it is time to attract some younger blood and get them excited about “better” movies. Thanks to the expansion of 10 best pictures, more popular films like Inception and Toy Story 3 are shoo-ins for the pile. I know they won't win to make way for whatever-number British film since the Academy likes to keep it “old school” while they shove sticks up their asses to make themselves feel dignified and elitist about their industry.

    On the flipside, at least it's not up to popular vote. In that case you would have a situation where the AMAs award that little shit Justin Bieber a ton of awards for fuck all reason


  4. Alexander says:

    Yeah I think Colin Firth deserves this, seeing as he was robbed last year. Also notice how ever since the acadamy's “attract the young people” thing began its alway been a bit token. I mean they are always only nominated, awards still mainly go to character driven pieces and maybe the odd epic. But maybe they just genuinely make the best movies. Though I hope inception wins best pic, a film which doesn't fit into either catergory


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