October 20, 2016
        "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race                "The Jungle Book," "Zootopia" and Craft Artists to be Honored at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" officially is a 2016 contender        

Oscar changes won’t stop with Franco and Hathaway

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: James Franco and Anne Hathaway aren’t the only shiny new items that will be on display when the 83rd Annual Academy Awards are televised Sunday, Feb. 27, on ABC. The Academy has several changes up its sleeve as it continues to seek new ways to entertain its audience (and fights to maintain its stronghold over competitive, televised shows like the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the SAG awards).

So what will be different? In an interview granted to THR, Oscar producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer revealed a handful of changes they hope will give the show “a facelift” while still being “respectful to its rich history.”

And what says “respect” like a tribute to dear old mom?

That’s right, the Oscars have recruited nine moms and one grandmother (Franco’s) to Tweet about the telecast on Twitter. Their being called “Mominees.” Adorable.

A lot of focus is being paid to the hosts, as well. Not only are they younger than previous hosts, this marks the first time that a male-female dup has co-hosted the Oscars from the same stage. (In the past, ensemble hosts presided over coastal ceremonies. This set-up will be a first.)

Movie montages, meanwhile, are out. So is the idea of a clunky set. THR reports that the Oscars will use a “virtual” set that is “designed to give the show a constantly-changing look. The virtual end goal is for Franco and Hathaway to take viewers on a trip through Hollywood history with six or seven scenic transitions.”

We’ll find out on Sunday if all of these changes give the Oscars a needed jolt, or of they overwhelm the reason why we tune in every year … to celebrate the actors, directors and their films.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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