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Billy Crystal: Hosting Oscars again “might be fun”

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Those masochistic souls who stuck with the Academy Awards telecast long enough to reach Billy Crystal’s tribute to Bob Hope likely came to the same conclusion we did … the one-time Oscar host was more relaxed, sociable and funny than current hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco on their best days.

Immediately after Crystal’s stint on this year’s telecast, I turned to my wife and commented, “He should just stay out there and finish this gig. He just might save the telecast.”

Now it looks like Crystal might be interested in saving next year’s telecast.

“It might be fun,” Crystal reportedly told the AP (via THR) about hosting the Oscars again.

“I think the show needs to change,” he said. “There’s too many awards and it has to sort of freshen itself up, and if I can be a part of that, that would be great.”

It would be a step in a better direction. I applaud the Academy and the show’s producers for trying something different. Younger hosts could work. Franco and Hathaway didn’t. Crystal can entertain in a live setting. He’s like an Oscar comfort blanket. Give him the show’s reigns again. But yourself some time to plan for the future. Because your immediate past – i.e. last month’s telecast – was ugly, and things have to get better.

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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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  • March 18, 2011 | Permalink |

    Sean, I agree with you about James Franco . He was awful, arrogant, and completely unprofessional ( this may hurt his film career for a while) . But, I disagree with you about Anne Hathaway. I found her incredibly charming, smart, energetic, and multi-talented ( plus she has a great singing voice and killer stage presence ) .

    If the writing , production, and concept of the show was stellar with Anne hosting with Hugh Jackman or Neil Patrick Harris, or Justin Timberlake or even Robert Downey Jr. , that Oscar telecast would have been incredible. Hathaway did everything she could to save that Titanic of an award show- with no help from Franco whatsoever. Please, bash James Franco, the writers, producers of the Oscars , but don’t bash Hathaway. Anne was game for anything , but she had nothing to work with, and I am sure she was nervous when Franco bailed on her.

    P.S. I could actually see Anne hosting the Oscars with Billy Crystal.

  • March 18, 2011 | Permalink |

    Good points, penny. And I agree that Anne came off better than James. But in all honesty, the “musical number / jab at Jackman” bit fell very flat (all Anne), and the intro with shout-outs to the moms and grandmas was terrible. Anne looked better in comparison, no doubt. But still pretty bad.

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