A bit of a shocker today from AMPAS: completely breaking from the usual comedian-as-host model, James Franco and Anne Hathaway have officially been tapped as co-hosts of February’s Oscar ceremony. Yes, you read that correctly.
The inclusion of Hathaway is actually not as out of left field as it may first appear: if you’ll recall, she was given a prominent part in Hugh Jackman’s opening number two years ago, surprising many with her song-and-dance skills. She was also chosen to announce the Oscar nominees live with Academy President Tom Sherak last year, so she’s clearly a fave of the AMPAS brass. Franco is a more eyebrow-raising choice, since he is not generally known for his showmanship , but lord knows he’s got the charisma as long as he feels relaxed on stage. What’s really intriguing, of course, is that Franco has a Best Actor nomination for “127 Hours” all but locked up at this point. While it’s not absolutely unheard-of for the host to be nominated at the Oscars, it hasn’t happened in decades, and no one has ever won a competitive award while serving as host, which could happen here. Of course, Colin Firth is still the heavy favorite in that category, so we probably shouldn’t tend too much time speculating on that particular scenario.
Any thoughts? My first reaction was “whaaa??” but and I’m still not high on the co-host thing at all, but I’ll give the Academy points for thinking outside the box here. My curiosity has certainly been piqued, no matter what the outcome.