Frank Sinatra, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, Ellen DeGeneres, Hugh Jackman and. . . Seth MacFarlane? Yes, you heard right. Come February 24, the voice of Family Guy’s Stewie Griffin, and the writer, director and producer of Ted – a movie about a talking bear – will be joining the ranks of Hollywood royalty who have had the honour of hosting the Oscars. So how does MacFarlane – who hosted the Charlie Sheen Roast on Comedy Central – become the host of what many would argue is the crème de la crème of all award shows?
Well, as successful as the Oscars has been at creating Hollywood memories and honouring the best of the big screen, it has always struggled to capture the elusive youth audience.
The Oscars has a reputation for attracting an older audience. Maybe it’s the formal attitude and humour that erase any potential for the candid, youth-friendly and somewhat Facebook-post-worthy moments that tend to give teens a reason to watch; but this may have all changed when it was announced that MacFarlane would be hosting the 85th Academy Awards.
MacFarlane brings his sharp wit wherever he goes. He is a little crude at the best of times and relentless in his satire, making him the perfect candidate to revamp the Oscars. “His performing skills blend perfectly with our ideas for making the show entertaining and fresh,” said show producers at the press conference when it was announced MacFarlane would be this year’s host. Unlike 2010 hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway – an attempt by producers to draw in younger viewers – MacFarlane shouldn’t have any problems providing a consistent comedic punch relatable to younger viewers as he has proven that he knows what teenagers like, and will likely use that to his advantage to make it the most unique and unpredictable show yet.
If MacFarlane finds a way to bring his famous characters to the Oscars’ stage, and incorporate his plethora of skills as a comedian, pianist and singer, this year’s show might be one for the Academy Awards history books and enjoyed by the younger movie-lovers out there. Speaking of movies – the real stars of the Oscars – there are many intriguing films that have captured the attention of teens this year and are up for some big awards.
Nominated for Best Motion Picture, Silver Linings Playbook is a film lined with comedy, drama and romance. With a focus on coping and living with mental illness, this film stars teen favourites Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, each of whom give knockout performances and are nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress in a Leading Role, respectively. With a great supporting cast that includes Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver, who also received Oscar nods, Silver Linings Playbook is a modern, quirky and relevant film that is likely to take home some serious hardware this year.
Based on the novel of the same name, Life of Pi has received lots of Oscar buzz ever since it was released in November. The perfect film for animal lovers and those of you who are drawn to fantasy and adventure, Life of Pi tells the amazing story of Pi who, after a shipwreck, is stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with a boat and a Bengal tiger. Eventually rescued, Pi recounts the events surrounding the shipwreck, and a journey of discovery is revealed. Acclaimed director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) was the man behind the camera and has led Life of Pi to a total of 11 Oscar nominations this year, which ranks second behind Steven Spielberg’s latest hit Lincoln.
The historical drama has been nominated for an astonishing 12 Oscars this year, including such major categories as Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture. Daniel Day-Lewis, known famously for his method acting and selectivity with roles, stars as Lincoln, and has been nominated for Best Actor. Supporting actors, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones have also received nominations in their respective performance categories. Lincoln tells the story of the 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, during his time in office as he dealt with personal issues and the movement to abolish slavery during the Civil War. The film is driven with passion, and tells a very pertinent tale of how perseverance can rise above injustice.
Catching the eyes and ears of young musical theatre fans is Les Misérables. Anne Hathaway, Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried lead an all-star cast in this story where the importance of love and compassion are prevailing themes. The film, set in 19th century France, tells the story of Jean Valjean (Jackman), who for many years has been hunted by a police officer named Javert (Russel Crowe) after breaking his parole. He agrees to take custody of Fantine’s (Hathaway) daughter Cosette (Seyfried), and the two embark on a fugitive’s journey that will change their lives forever. For our generation that has grown up learning to be more accepting than those before, Les Misérables teaches an important lesson and is extremely relevant to what is going on in our world today.
Although not up for what would be considered the “major” Oscars awards, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has managed to snag nominations for Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Achievement in Visual Effects and Achievement in Production Design. A prequel to the very popular Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit on the big screen has filled the void for all of you who were going through Hobbit-withdrawal since watching Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, which was the last of the three-film series. Featuring recurring characters such as the ever-famous Gollum, and a journey that is filled with goblins, orcs, shape-shifters and sorcerers, it’s no surprise The Hobbit received the nominations it has.
With a host who – through his many endeavours – has managed to entertain and satisfy a very hard-to-please youth audience, a crop of movies that have brought movie-lovers young and old many hours of laughter, crying, suspense, romance, adventure, fantasy, action and insight, and show producers who look to put a fresh spin on the classic award show, the 85th Academy Awards is shaping up to be one of the best ever.Login or register to post comments. All comments have to go through a queue for approval to keep the nasty stuff out, but we'll post yours as soon as we can.