Access Hollywood and USA Today -- followed by everyone else, now, in a game of scrambly Hollywood telephone -- are reporting that dashing youngsters James Franco and Anne Hathaway have been chosen as hosts for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.
It's a blatant shift from the usual reputable entertainment figureheads to two fleeting hot-right-nows. From 2004 to 2010, the award show has been hosted by more regal oldies like -- counting backward -- Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin; Hugh Jackman; Jon Stewart; Ellen Degeneres; Jon Stewart a-freaking-gain; and Chris Rock. (OK, so that last one doesn't exactly fall under "reputable.")
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Franco and Hathway, on the other hand...
are barely at the 30-year mark and have starred in too many flops to make up for their freshman status. (Of many cases in point, let us remember "Tristan + Isolde" and "Bride Wars." Or better yet, let us not.)
But hey, no one can accuse them of being eyesores. The pair's unveiling as Kodak Theatre hosts also conveniently coincides with the release of Franco's "127 Hours" and Hathaway's "Love and Other Drugs." Considering the downright lashing the latter has received from major media and laptop critics alike, lil' Annie will have to bring it on behind the podium with an ever-smug Franco at her side. (He's currently sitting pretty over at Rotten Tomatoes for "Hours," which has a 92 percent.) They're also set to appear together in the upcoming prequel to "Alien."
Could two box-office newbies be ABC and the Academy's answer to a revived Oscar showdown, or are Franco and Hathaway upsetting a long tradition of in-house grandeur? Let us know how you really feel.