The 2011 Academy Awards will have two hosts, much like the 2010 version of the show. Anne Hathaway and James Franco will host the Oscars this time around, continuing the trend of having more than one host up on stage. At the 2010 Academy Awards, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin shared the hosting duties, and it worked well to bring a lot of humor to the show. Sure, it looked and felt much different than the way the Oscars have been presented in the past, but it worked because both men were willing to share the stage (and the jokes) at every turn.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the decision to not just go with two hosts again, but to choose two very young hosts was made by telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer. Both have been nominated for awards stemming from movies before, with Franco getting a 2002 Emmy nomination for his portrayal of James Dean in the made-for-television film of the same name. Hathaway was nominated for Best Actress at the 2009 Academy Awards for her role in Rachel Getting Married, and also won a 2010 Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for her work on The Simpsons.
Both Hathaway and Franco are in movies right now, with Hathaway in Love and Other Drugs and Franco in 127 Hours. There had been a lot of buzz for both films, and it could provide a very intriguing storyline if Franco received a Best Actor nomination for his stirring performance in 127 Hours. It is clear that critics have loved both Hathaway and Franco when they take on dramatic roles, and audiences have enjoyed that as well, turning out to see Franco in three Spider-Man movies and Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain. It seems obvious, though, that they were brought into the Oscars because of their range in the craft.
What might really make this pair work as hosts of the 2011 Academy Awards is their comedic timing and ability to poke fun at themselves. Both have hosted Saturday Night Live successfully, and it has been very clear in their film roles that they can be funny when the script calls for it. If the writers for the Oscars telecast give them good material to work with, this could turn out to be a really great decision. On the surface this pair might seem like an odd combination to host the biggest movie awards of the year, but thinking more about it, the producers may have gold to work with here.