Debate of the Day: Can James Franco Host the Oscars and Win?


Yesterday came the surprise announcement that James Franco and Anne Hathaway would be hosting this year’s Academy Awards. It’s a far cry from the comedians that usually host the show (Jon Stewart, Ellen Degeneres, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin), and a throwback to the days when leading actors actually ran the show in the ’70s (Rock Hudson, Michael Caine, Jane Fonda).

Yes, the duo are technically comedic actors, but they are also the leads in many movies these days, something most past recent hosts (other than Hugh Jackman) can’t claim. Hathaway should have smooth sailing ahoy, but Franco? It’s a different story with him. Why?

He’s going to be (has to be) nominated for his powerful performance in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, where he plays a real-life hiker who cuts his own arm off after he’s trapped after an accident. But now, he’s hosting the awards?

I honestly don’t think a host has ever been nominated for an Oscar nor won one, at least not in the last forty or fifty years, and I can’t tell if this helps or hurts Franco’s chances. On one hand, the Academy clearly likes him to some degree as they want him on hosting duties, and he’ll be in the forefront of everyone’s mind all night, on the other, this is his first real “superstar” role where he’s been taken seriously for an award like this, and he’s going to be doing skits and jokes throughout the evening?

It just seems like a weird situation to me, and I can’t help but think it might have been better for him to decline. What do you think?

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  1. I would say he will still at least be nominated. Unfortunately I have not seen 127 Hours yet so I am still preferential towards Jesse Eisenberg getting the Oscar for the Social Network.

    Frankly, it is the Academy. They will do whatever they want. If he deserves the Oscar then they won’t let hosting duties prevent him from winning.

  2. In order to get the ratings back up, I think they did just what they needed by having Hathaway and Franco host. They’re both young, attractive, and funny actors. I might actually watch the Oscars this year because they’re hosting.

    I also do not really see the problem with having one of the hosts be nominated and/or winning. More power to them I guess.

  3. I honestly don’t think a host has ever been nominated for an Oscar nor won one

    I’m pretty sure there have been more than a few hosts nominated. As far as a host actually winning…I think David Niven is the only one, sometime back in the 50’s.

  4. I think you forgot about Alec Baldwin. He hosted last year and is still headlining movies. Granted, the last couple have been rom-coms, but still, it’s Alec Baldwin.

  5. He should win…deserves too…but wont. The Kings speech is the typical oscar movie im afraid. I saw it and liekd it a lot but I htin its one of those things where they think its ‘his time’ to win one. But really James’ performance in 127 hours is clearly the best this year. He carried that movie alone. Amazing
    I do think Leonardo Dicaprio should have been nominated though…

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