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Hathaway and Franco to host the Oscars

Posted by Wesley Morris  November 30, 2010 09:58 AM

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Anne Hathaway.jpgJames Franco.jpg

In a move so desperate it's brilliant, Anne Hathaway and James Franco are going to host the Academy Awards in February. She probably landed the part after providing quasi-spontaneous support when Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosted last year. They were really funny. But when they singled out Hathaway as part of their opening, there was no denying that the three of them really had something. Franco got the job perhaps out of sympathy for his spending most of "127 Hours" impaled by a boulder. But I'll just ask now, then move on: Doesn't he have a final to take or surgery to perform? Is there anything James Franco isn't doing? Has anyone ever gotten this much done without seeming ambitious?

In any case, the party line is that hiring two young people to host the show will lure more young people to watch the show. It's true that Hathaway and Franco's combined age is about half that of Martin and Baldwin (41 million people watched last year). But ignoring the numbers, the ageism, and the fact that's it's not old hosts you should fear it's crusty writers, this is just inspired casting. Hathaway has a gift for improvisation. She's a movie star, who's a hit movie away from the rest of the world knowing that. And Franco will accessorize with her nicely. They'll sing, dance, make fun of each other, and maybe even win. They're in contention to be contenders -- he for that boulder movie, she for "Love and Other Drugs," which the breezy ads don't tell us is a movie about woman with early-onset Parkinson's. 

Of course, this all raises a really important etiquette question for voters: Do you snub your hosts?. 

The nominations are announced on January 25. The show is on February 27.

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