Will James Franco and Anne Hathaway make you more likely to watch the Oscars?

James-Franco-Anne-HathawayImage Credit: Bob Charlotte/PR Photos (2)Well, that was unexpected: The Academy made a surprisingly bold gamble with its announcement today that James Franco and Anne Hathaway will be co-hosting this year’s Oscars — particularly for a group not often known for being especially surprising, bold, or gamble-y about much of anything. In the latest effort in its perennial campaign to goose up ratings for the Oscar telecast, the Academy is clearly banking on Franco and Hathaway (should we start calling them Francaway for short?) to draw in the kind of younger viewers who have largely spurned the Oscars in recent years. Not to be ageist about this, but last year’s hosts, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, are 64 and 51, respectively, while Franco is 32 and Hathaway is 28 — a good deal younger than even Jon Stewart or Chris Rock were when they hosted the Oscars in recent years.

Some are already grumbling that the Academy’s pick smacks a bit of generational pandering and sets the stage for a show that’s more like the MTV Video Music Awards than the Oscars as we’ve traditionally known them. Then again, virtually everyone complains endlessly about the Oscars as we’ve traditionally known them, so let’s wait and see. (It’s not like we’re talking about Steve-O and Snooki here.) In addition to their acclaimed acting careers, both Hathaway and Franco have charisma to spare and a knack for comedy (and Hathaway showed off her musical skills as well when she gamely pitched in with a song-and-dance number when Hugh Jackman hosted in 2008), so it’ll be interesting, to say the least, to see what they bring to the party. Between Franco’s recent performance-art stint on General Hospital and Hathaway’s much-discussed sex scenes in Love & Other Drugs, they’ve got plenty of comedic fodder to work with in their recent past. One particularly intriguing question: How will Franco and Hathaway handle the potentially awkward situation of one or both of them being up for awards themselves, since Franco is a veritable shoo-in for a Best Actor nomination for 127 Hours, while Hathaway has been discussed as a long-shot Best Actress nominee for Love & Other Drugs?

What do you think? Does the Academy’s choice of Hathaway and Franco seem inspired or overly calculated to you? Will you be more likely to tune in to this year’s show because of them, or less? Vote in our pollĀ  and then sound off in the comments below.


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James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host Oscars


Comments (152 total) Add your comment
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  • Josie

    I think it is really easy to get around the whole ‘what if they are the winners’ problem. It’s not even a problem.

    I am way more likely to watch the Oscars this year with them hosting. Not only because I’m interested in The Academy mixing things up, but because I continue to be impressed by James Franco at every turn

    • Brenda Barrett

      I also like Franco, which makes me inclined to watch. However, I have an aversion to Hathaway’s gigantic facial features. She always looks like she has clown make-up painted on her face.

      • Mike

        I have the same aversion to Hathaway. And her personality is quite grating. I think they will be terrible as hosts. I know they’ve done SNL before, but hosting an awards show is quite different and I don’t see them pulling it off.

      • Seddie is meant to be

        No need to be mean, though I would prefer a comedian: Craig Ferguson, Conan Obrien, Dennis Leary, etc

      • Doug

        Then you probably aren’t attracted to Rachel Ray’s beauty, either. However, you’ll find yourself in a clear and tiny minority when it comes to judging both women’s looks and appeal.

      • SXiPPY

        It really does seem gimmicky and a desperate way to attract the youth rating a la MTV Movie Awards. Who knows, maybe life will imitate art soon by actually having Katy Perry slaughter one of the Oscar nominated songs, much the way she did in her “SNL” skit. I too, would much prefer to see a comedian host rather than these two. Where’s the Robin, Whoopi, Billy trifecta when you need them? The nursing home you say!?

      • Andrew Lincoln

        I think it’s an inspired choice. I know a lot of people prefer comedians, but I’d rather have performers. Jackman was good, and I think Hathaway and Franco will do well too.

    • Michael Ausiello

      Deadline Hollywood had this scoop first, it’s funny how EW never seems to give credit when credit is due.

      • tommymommy

        NOOOOOO! I like both actors, but I need some cheese on my Academy Awards! Bring back Billy Crystal. Best joke ever: The only one guaranteed to wake up with a statue tomorrow is Tipper Gore!

      • brenda

        that IS funny! wait… no it’s not. it’s irrelevant. yes, irrelevant. that’s what i meant to say.

  • rees

    Dude, James Franco can make me watch 127 hours. Damned right I’ll be first in line to see him host the ceremony.

  • mouse

    ick

    • azn

      I just hope he loses the mustache ASAP.

      • kcijones001

        stash is for a movie, so i’m guessing by then it should be gonzo

  • snot

    well. i admit. it’s an odd selection but some part of me is curious to see how it goes. but i don’t know if it will make me expressly tune it. i’ll just be more inclined to watch it if nothing better is on.

    • BL

      I love both of these actors, but I would definitely prefer a good comedian hosting the show.

  • Mr. Holloway

    This came out of nowhere, but that’s what I like about it.

    I like both of these performers a lot, and I’m interested to see how they play off each other. I also don’t think it’s a generational pandering move because, more than being young, they’re also well-respected actors in their own right. (She’s a past nominee, and he’s pretty much a future nominee.)

    I just love the idea that the tumbler full of career options that Franco introduced during an SNL monologue produced a card that said “Host the Oscars.”

  • Val

    after her soft porn stunt in her latest movie I don’t want to see her do ANYTHING anymore.

    • Dream Out Loud

      prude!

    • Mighty7

      Make sure you share it with your fellow members of the Church for the Eternally Cheesy.

    • Lolly

      Pornographic? Hardly. But we know where your mind goes, don’t we, Val?

    • Dan

      I agree with Val, and I don’t care if you call me a prude, too. I’ve lost my respect for Anne Hathaway. There’s very little dignity for an actor to have intercourse about a dozen times on camera for a film. And she’s still pushing this wholesome image of hers. Geez.

    • realllyyyy

      what soft porn, now i DO want to see her in the oscars

    • Jalal

      Oh shut up. There wasn’t as much nudity in Love and Other Drugs as I thought there would be. It could have been a lot worse. Welcome to 2010, where the general public is not afraid of a little bit of nudity.

      • Dan

        Shut up yourself. Nudity is one thing, but having explicit sex on screen is another.

      • Jay

        Do you even know what explicit sex looks like? Let me tell you that Love and Other Drugs wasn’t it. If you’re so offended, maybe you should stop going to see rated R movies.

      • Felix

        You guys actually just made me want to go see Love and other drugs

    • D.B.

      Soft porn? Then you would totally hate her in the film “Havoc”. I can’t believe in this day and age they are still people like you out there. This is why this country has not progressed.

    • Doug

      Dignity? Her role in the film DEFINED the essence of dignity in a very difficult situation. No, it wasn’t pornographic at all. In fact, her performance only enhanced her already well-established beauty in my view. The woman is a Goddess and the fact that some minds go to the prurient tells us more about you than about her.

  • shocker

    Even if Hathway’s performance in sex is a long shot for nomination, surely she will get it since she is Oscar it girl at the moment.

    • Jack King

      She’s been the “IT” girl for a very long time — and will be for many years.

      • Joe

        She’s not been the IT girl for a long time…Your cable must be about 5 years behind in programming.

  • Stewart

    Anne must wear something very, very sexy, or I’m going drinking

  • Jack King

    If Hathaway was naked, then yes I’d watch. Otherwise, no. The Oscars lost touch with mainstream movie goers so long ago that it’s not worth watching anymore. They rarely choose a film anyone has actually seen. Their self-serving choices are merely a desperate attempt to convince people that Hollywood makes films for art rather than just to make a LOT of money. But no one believes them.

    • Mighty7

      Speak for yourself boss. How is the weather down there in the Ozarks?

    • Gina

      Jack, I agree with you.

    • Lolly

      Agree, Jack, you make good points. Still, for me, I’m not going to miss any performance by Anne Hathaway. I won’t deny myself such a simple, wholesome pleasure.

    • AK

      Well, the whole point of the Oscars is to reward the best in film. Are you trying to argue that by merit of more people going to see a movie, it’s automatically better? Because I shudder to think of a day when the next “Transformers” and “Twilight” movies are nominated for Best Picture.

      • Jay

        But the acting was so good in them! Like totally completely Oscar worthy. Edward for the win!

        Sarcastic rant over.

  • Cousin Oliver

    Will Olsen twins finally be receiving long overdue Lifetime Achievement Award, too? That should rope in younger viewers as well.

    • Robin

      Too funny!

  • Mighty7

    Anne could talk spend 12 hours talking about the technical aspects of non-binding nano particles in the development of graphite proto-composites and I would still sit there like an enamored 13 year old boy.

  • RealMansMan

    Anne Hathaway could be hosting a marathon on Feminism in the 1920’s and I’d watch…as long as I can see some of her jugs.

    • Lia Cook

      How many jugs do you think she has?Some????

  • Mary

    I watch the Oscars every year. Them hosting won’t make me more likely to watch, but I’m expecting a lot from them because they’re too of my favorite younger actors.

  • carly

    The Golden Globes are still my favorite acting Awards Show but James Franco can make me watch anything.

  • phintel

    The Academy Awards show is a promotional event and an insider industry event. Consumers of movie tickets and DVD rentals get no benefit from the distributed awards. Therefore, why watch?

    • michu

      lets see…10 movies nominated now, no more life achievement awards, and hosts who aren’t funny?? I will definitely watch but I think the Oscar show is really going downhill

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