Richar Crouse: Mark, I have to say I don't really care who hosts the Oscars. For me the show is about the movies, not the hosts. But I think the choice of Anne Hathaway and James Franco is kind of intriguing, especially since he's said publicly, “If it’s the worst Oscar show ever, who cares?” With that attitude he may bring some much needed danger to the proceedings.
Mark Breslin: Sorry, Richard, I cannot agree! The Oscar hosts are incredibly important to the show. How else are we going to get through the awards for Best Documentary Short, Best Sound Editing, and the Jean Hirshholt Humanitarian Award without a little comedy, a little song, and a little dance? Which make Franco and Hathaway interesting choices because they don't do any of these. Then again, anything has to be better than last year's wheezy Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin duo. The big question is, will Franco and Hathaway open with a Black Swan parody in matching tutus?
RC: I can’t say if they’ll start things off with matching tutus, but I think it is a safe bet that leading up to the category Franco is nominated in this year, Best Actor for 127 Hours, there will be jokes about how “disarmingly” handsome he is, or how he “single-handedly” made the movie a success. Wait for those groaners. What everybody wants is for Billy Crystal to come back and host. He’s funny, he’s likeable, he’s a movie star—well, he used to be, anyway—and he keeps the pace of the show chugging along at a nice clip. Hathaway and Franco are both capable performers, but will they be able to keep things moving along?
MB: Yes, Billy Crystal could have been made Oscar Host For Life. But I guess he doesn't mean much overseas, except for select neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. But here's a question: In the Dead Meal Tickets section, which deceased actor will get the greatest applause? Dennis Hopper or Tony Curtis?
RC: The tributes section is always a favourite of mine, but it does often feel as though someone is standing off stage with an Applause-O-Meter judging who gets the biggest reaction. This year? Who knows, maybe Hopper and Curtis will cancel one another out and leave a little love for departed Canadian Corey Haim. Even in death it seems the Oscars are still a giant popularity contest.