Monday, February 8, 2016

Seth MacFarlane won't be back, so who's 2014's Oscar host?

The "Family Guy" and "Ted" dude delivered a string of tasteless gags at the Academy Awards, managing to alienate large swaths of Hollywood's elite - and TV audiences, too. He's indicated his Oscar hosting days are done.

Seth MacFarlane won’t be back, so who’s 2014’s Oscar host?

Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" photo by Jess Pinkham
Quvenzhane Wallis, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" photo by Jess Pinkham

Ratings were up, but thumbs are down. Seth MacFarlane, host of the unnecessarily long and offensive 85th Academy Awards show, has already Tweeted that he won’t be back next year. And after some of his more questionable efforts to elicit laughs -- jokes at the expense of women, Jews and Abraham Lincoln (“the actor who really got inside Lincoln’s head was John Wilkes Booth”), a lot of women, Jews and admirers of the 16th president won’t be sorry to see the Family Guy creator and Donnie Osmond doppelganger go.

So, who is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the show’s producers going to round up next time?

Here’s a handful of possible candidates to host of the 86th Oscars, which happens a mere 51 weeks from now:

Quvenzhane Wallis --  Everybody loves the 9-year-old best actress nominee from Beasts of the Southern Wild, and there’s no way she’s going to sing a number about actresses’ boobs, or pay  attention to that Captain Kirk guy speaking from a giant screen 200 years in the future. (“Star Trek? What’s Star Trek” Wallis asks.)  She may, however, break into a cheery rendition of “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” -- Wallis has been signed to star in the title role of a new Annie movie.

Bradley Cooper – Hey, he was People’s sexiest man alive, and he brought his mom all the way from Jenkintown to the Dolby Theatre on Oscar night. And maybe, just maybe, if “Honest Abe” Day-Lewis hadn’t been in the competition, Cooper could have won that best actor trophy for his seriously funny, emotionally raw, heart-breaking, ballroom-dancing portrait of a messed-up guy in Silver Linings Playbook.   

Jennifer Lawrence – Wardrobe malfunction at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, falling flat on her face as she climbed the steps to receive her best actress Oscar Sunday night, Cooper’s Silver Linings leading lady is quick on her feet -- when she’s on her feet, that is – and will draw in 100 billion Hunger Games-obsessed tweens, too. Instead of handing out the best director prize, the actress who plays Katniss Everdeen could officiate over a  nominees’ battle to the death, right there on stage.     

Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz – The roving hagglers of the History Channels’ American Pickers show, Mike and Frank could “bundle” nominees to keep the acceptance speeches from running long, and they could buy Oscar statuettes from some of the more cash-starved winners (sound editors, documentary shorts producers) , and then resell them at their Iowa store for double or triple the price!

Pope Benedict XVI – It’s going to get really boring in that Vatican retirement village, and the “emeritus pope” is rumored to be a huge Ben Affleck fan. Nanni Moretti’s We Have a Pope – the gently farcical 2011 film about the Roman Catholic Church’s conclave to elect a new successor – could get a special Oscar night tribute.

Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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About this blog

Steven Rea has been an Inquirer movie critic since 1992. He was born in London, raised in New York City, and has lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Iowa City, Iowa. His column, "On Movies," appears Sundays in Arts & Entertainment, his reviews appear in the Weekend section on Fridays. He is a member of the National Society of Film Critics.

Read his most recent columns and reviews, here. He is the author of the book “Hollywood Rides a Bike,” and also curates the movie stars and bicycling photo blog, Rides A Bike.

Steven Rea Inquirer Movie Columnist and Critic
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