Youth Invades Film’s Oldest Night

Posted on December 4, 2011


2/25/11-What do you think is the most well-known name in Hollywood? Johnny Depp, Mark Wahlberg or Colin Firth? Although these household names belong to famous leading men, you will have to guess again. This name carries an enormous amount of historical significance in the entertainment industry.


The name is Oscar.

The Oscars are arguably the biggest event in the entertainment industry, showcasing the best of the best in film from the previous year. One of the more notable aspects of this awards show are its hosts.

Every year, the Oscars are hosted by prominent faces in the entertainment community, whether it is a TV/film comedian (Conan O’Brien, John Stewart, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin) or a dramatic actor who ends up having surprising comedic ability like Hugh Jackman.

2009 was an interesting year. The head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the organization that puts on the show every year) decided to “shake-up” the usual hosting formula of comedians and incorporate Jackman as a host.

It was a ploy to boost the ratings and add something new to the show, and it worked extremely well, as the ratings for the Oscars reached their highest in years. Jackman proved he was a versatile actor and could do more than pop claws and grimace a la Wolverine.

2010 was another solid year for the AMPAS and the Oscars telecast. Ratings soared again with the stellar comedic team of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin hosting the event. The duo had recently starred together in the successful film It’s Complicated and utilized their comedic chemistry to lambast the elegance that is usually associated with the Oscars, essentially making the show less about celebrity worship and more about honoring the achievements in film over the year.

The recent shake-up in hosts has opened the door for James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host this year. This is another interesting move by the AMPAS because of the youth of these two stars.

Controversy has risen over the belief that this is a ploy to draw in younger viewers.

I personally think this is a great choice for hosting. Hathaway and Franco are multi-talented actors who should be able to be on par with past hosts, providing quality entertainment while showcasing 2010’s film accomplishments. Despite the considerable success of these two thespians, they need to do a few things to prepare for the big show.

In the past, all the hosts have had considerable comedic ability and utilized it to loosen up the audience and make the viewers watching the telecast feel more a part of the show.

Comedy keeps the Oscars from becoming a pathetic excuse of adoration. In order to keep the morale up and have the show become interesting, Franco and Hathaway should imitate Baldwin and Martin’s comedy style from the previous year.

The two should make fun of the “old” atmosphere of the show while emphasizing their humble status as the youngest hosts in Oscar history. I think something like that could work since both have proven their comedic chops in movies like Rachel Getting Married and Pineapple Express.

Hathaway and Franco have different comedy styles, which is why it would be important to work together and combine their slapstick and dry capabilities together to create a memorable performance. Hopefully, they can work on this with the pre-Oscars promos.

The only other possible way that the superstars can excel in their hosting gig is by showcasing some of their other talents like singing and dancing. Essentially, they should imitate Jackman’s performance but put their own unique twist on it. Both actors have been in countless plays that have honed their singing and dancing prowess, so putting in a dance number or two could be an interesting touch.

The emulation of the previous hosts will be integral for Hathaway and Franco’s success, as long as they remember to make it their own at the same time. The most important thing is that they continue to spice up the show. They were hired for that reason so we will see how they do next Sunday.

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