October 28, 2016
        Ten Contenders will compete for Best Documentary Short Subject                "The Circle" and "The Lost City of Z": Which potential 2016 contenders got bumped to 2017?                Natalie Portman, Janelle Monáe, Matthew McConaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard, Edgar Ramirez, Stacy Keach at Hollywood Film Awards                Viola Davis will be campaigned in Best Supporting Actress for "Fences"                Mel Gibson to be Honored with the Hollywood Director Award at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Michael Moore drops a surprise new film with "Michael Moore in TrumpLand"                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "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        

Jon Stewart says Eddie Murphy will “kill it” as Oscar host – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Minutes after Eddie Murphy was named host of the upcoming Academy Awards, the Internet exploded with reaction, both positive and negative. But we’ll trust the opinion of a man who accepted the burden, stood on the stage and hosted the high-profile television event (twice, even) over the opinions of millions who merely watch the show from the comfort of their living rooms.

“Listen, the last person I would give advice to is Eddie Murphy,” Jon Stewart told Rolling Stone magazine in a recent interview. “He’s gonna … kill it. He’s the type of guy they haven’t had in a while. He’s a movie star, but he’s a great comic – sort of similar to Billy Crystal in his ‘multi-ability.’”

For a short time, Oscar trackers were speculating that Crystal might, in fact, return to the show to help it recover from last year’s misfire with Anne Hathaway and James Franco at the helm. But Stewart’s right when he says Murphy’s as gifted as Crystal, so long as he’s given time to prepare.

It’s also interesting that Stewart vocalizes what so many people believe but are kind of afraid to say, that it doesn’t really matter who hosts if they can’t make improvements to the show itself.

“The biggest problem of the show is the show,” Stewart tells RS. “My favorite thing was when we showed one of their montages about all of these incredibly socially powerful films, and how Hollywood was a leader in the civil rights movement. I came back after the montage ended and said, ‘And racism was never a problem again.’ You just felt the whole room go, ‘Hey, motherfucker! Who do you think you are?’”

Stewart uses the word “their,” emphasizing that even though he’s a two-time Oscar host, he still doesn’t consider himself part of the establishment. I’m sure David Letterman understands. Is Murphy, an Oscar nominee for “Dreamgirls,” enough of an insider? Will he be accepted, even before he steps on the stage?

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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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