This week has certainly proven to me that the lovely people at Oscarland certainly do not dwell on such unforeseen misfortunes. After the swift departures of co-producer Brett Ratner (in the wake of his offensive homosexual remarks) and host Eddie Murphy, like a well-oiled machine with a few kinks, production is back on with veteran filmmaker Brian Grazer stepping into Ratner’s shoes. Furthermore in a not so surprising move, Oscar veteran and all-round funny man Billy Crystal will now play host at the Kodak Theatre come February 2012.
This will be the ninth occasion that the comedian will be on hosting duties and I think the Academy have done a noble job and played it safe. Not only is Crystal a proven entertainer, but on the back of this year’s abysmal hosts in Anne Hathaway and James Franco, expectations will no doubt be sky high for a night of laughs, the usual gags at how many Oscar nominations Meryl Streep has to her name and the countless shots of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein rubbing his hands together vigorously. It was Billy Crystal’s cameo appearance at this year’s Academy Awards that was the highlight of the show. With the greatest respect to him, that wasn’t a hard challenge given James Franco’s god awful interest and manner in which he displayed himself in front of the world that night. If you compare the two, Franco wouldn’t even be in a position to tie Crystal’s own shoelaces!On the morning of the comedian’s announcement via his Twitter account, I had a right chuckle to myself in the manner in which he revealed the news, “Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.” Who says he's not hip to what the kids like today, with their iFads and their digital down-lows?”
In what could well be a disappointing turn of events, earlier on in the week there was a vicious rumour that the Muppets could well step on the Oscar stage for the role of hosts. However I think the Academy President Tom Sherak has made the right move and I’m sure will pay off massively. He declared this week, “I’m thrilled to welcome Billy back to the Oscar stage. He’s a comic legend and Oscar icon, and it feels good to have him back where he belongs.”
I must admit I was all for Eddie Murphy donning the tux and doing his thing on the Oscar stage. Needless to say, after comical yet often dubious turns in the likes of The Nutty Professor and Norbit, he would have been a rival for Anne Hathaway in the costume department for sure. It is a shame he followed his co-producer and friend Brett Ratner straight out the exit door on the back of Ratner’s rash and let’s face it stupid comments on the rehearsal procedures, “Rehearsal? What’s that? Rehearsal’s for fags. Rehearsal. Not much.” This caused outrage amongst Hollywood and despite a heartfelt apology from the Rush Hour director, it’s those types of comments in today’s society which cannot be forgiven and which ultimately forced him to depart. Shame, I was eager to see if you could redeem himself after X-Men: The Last Stand…!
Anyway like I said previously after Billy Crystal’s flawless four-minute cameo in this year’s Oscars, the money is on him to put in another top class performance for the whole five and a half odd hours at next year’s 85th Annual Academy Awards. If you want a smooth and consistent production, Mike Wazowski is your man!