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Oscars: Huge Ackman? Or Huge Mistake?

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So I go away for a couple days and you people go and make Hugh Jackman Oscar host on me? Really? Good call. He did singlehandedly save Viva Laughlin, after all. 

I kid Wolverine, but the fact is he was actually the best thing about Viva. Does this translate into being a smart Oscar choice? I can’t honestly know, because it seems that his choice has partly to do with the show breaking away from its longtime comedian-who-does-a-monologue format. Its success, then, will depend on what the Oscars replace that with. My worry about Jackman is that he means the producers plan to up the stagey musical-numbers quotient—and we’ve all seen how well big musical-theater-numbers go over on TV. 

That said, I’ll give half a thumb up now for the Oscars trying something, anything, different. And as for the ratings, I suspect that they’ll have to do more with the movies nominated than with any hosting choice. In which case, perhaps better to have Jackman on stage as host than onstage representing the movie Australia.  

On a related note, I saw Frost/Nixon over the weekend—solid, if not stunning, but a great performance from Frank Langella—but this year there are relatively few other Oscar-bait movies I have any interest in. Shouldn’t we just hand the little metal guy to the little metal guy now?

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