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Award Watch 2011 :: It ain’t over until James Franco sings

by Robert Nesti
EDGE National Arts & Entertainment Editor
Friday Feb 25, 2011

"You're invited," reads the promos for Sunday's telecast of the Oscars and it appears that everyone wants to RSVP. No Oscar show in recent memory has received the anticipation as this year's, largely due to the shrewd decision to make the awards hipper and more tuned-in to younger viewers. The key decision was in hiring the under-35 duo James Franco and Anne Hathaway to co-host, breaking the tradition of having middle-aged comics or late night talk show hosts in that role. Over the past two weeks the pair have been promoting the show with much snark, as the promos and news reports surrounding the Franco/Hathaway have shown. Watch this video below from the Academy for an example of an Academy-authorized promo that makes some fun at the stuffiness of the ceremony.

Franco, especially, has shown a "not give a shit" attitude, saying a few weeks ago that if he should flop, it would be no big deal - it would be just one night out of his life. (Take that, David Letterman.) Or to slyly bitch about the Academy not allowing him to sing his version of Cher's "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me" at the Awards. Franco said Thursday that he's upset "for me and Cher." (He had released an audio of it on Twitter this past Tuesday and from the sound of it, Cher should be upset if he did sing it.)

Grease is the word

What Franco and Hathaway may be singing (if a short YouTube video is to be believed) is "You’re the One That I Want" from Grease, recreating the famous number featuring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta. "Dressed in eye-watering skin-tight leather trousers, low-cut top and complete with bouffant hair, Anne manages to get Olivia Newton-John’s ’bad-girl’ look off to a tee," reported London’s Daily Mall.

"Meanwhile James Franco cuts a pretty decent Danny Zuko as he dons a very tight back t-shirt with quiffed hair, bearing more than just a passing resemblance to John Travolta."

Whether or not the number will be performed has yet to be determined.

Watch this brief clip of the pair rehearsing:

Pissing off Tom and Katie

Another ad for the event has Hathaway having a wardrobe malfunction and Franco coming to her rescue.

Hathaway’s recent appearance on Saturday Night Live did raise the ire of Hollywood heavyweights Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. In one skit Hathaway mimicked Holmes’ breathy style. Cruise and Holmes were not amused.

The Mall reported an unknown Hollywood source as saying: "Tom and Katie don’t want to have to cross paths with Anne,’ says a Hollywood source.

"They used to be friends and took Anne to a Tina Turner concert in 2008 when Anne split up from her boyfriend Raffaello Follieri."

Next page: Oscar predictions.

A nude Franco?

But back to the ceremony: We especially liked the film director and last year’s ceremony co-producer Adam Shankman’s idea that the pair should come out with Hathaway with just one-arm (alluding to Franco’s 127 Hours) and Franco coming out nude holding Jake Gyllenhaal’s hand (alluding to what - those snarky rumors that Franco is gay that have been circulating for months? I guess we shouldn’t go there.)

It appears, then, the show is providing the excitement, while there’s little suspense to the awards themselves. The obsession (and this extends to the reporting on this site) with reporting on every award - from the National Board of Review in early December through the numerous critics’ prizes and award shows (Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, the British Academy Awards) that acted as harbingers of just who would first be nominated and then win.

To see our choices for the winners Click here.

Robert Nesti can be reached at rnesti@edgemedianetwork.com.


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