Good Morning Oscar, February 22: It Takes Two

A pair of new presenters step up, and pair of first-time hosts strut their stuff

So far, many of the Oscar nominees have come from the ranks of the usual suspects:  But on Monday the Academy went a little younger and funnier, announcing the bookings of Russell Brand and Scarlett Johansson. She's appeared on the show before. He hasn't. (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Here's something we won't be seeing (or hearing) on the Oscar show – but if they can manage to capture a bit of this kind of humor, it might be a bizarrely entertaining show. Courtesy of Oscar co-host James Franco and, it's five minutes of audio of Franco tackling Diane Warren's song "You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," which Cher sang (significantly more tunefully) in "Burlesque," and which Oscar producers admit they were disappointed didn't get a nomination. Given the evidence here, one assumes that had it been nominated, performance chores would have gone to Cher rather than Franco. The audio goes on for way too long (which is part of the point), but it's pretty damn funny, in a William Shatner-manhandling-Bob Dylan kind of way. Franco claims it was "pulled from the Oscar show," though I suspect that the Academy would have gladly sawed off the host's arm for real if that's what it took to get this out of prime time. (

But Sasha Stone thinks that Franco is just "along for the ride," and that Anne Hathaway will be the hostess with the mostest. Her evidence: a new Oscar promo where Hathaway reads a TelePrompTer really, really fast. Impertinent question: if you say that the Oscars are "watched by over a billion people," which the Academy knows isn’t true, but you say it so fast that it's almost impossible to understand, does that make it less untrue? You know, I think it probably does. (Awards Daily)

"Exit Through the Gift Shop" has been stirring up controversy since it first screened, which no doubt was part of the plan for its elusive director Banksy. But Jason Felch does a good job of answering a few of the doc's lingering questions by talking to Thierry Guetta, the French used-clothing vendor who became an artist under Banksy's tutelage, and who gradually becomes the subject of the film. Guetta swears that the events in the film are "100 percent real" – and Felch's investigation into social security and bank records, and his interviews with other parties, support virtually all of his claims. But Guetta won’t say if his pal Banksy plans to attend the Oscars, of course. (The Envelope)

"Deep Vote," the long-winded Oscar voter who's been reviewing movies for during this awards season, reveals his Oscar ballot. He only ranks four of the Best Picture nominees, with "The Social Network" in the number one spot; his acting votes go to Colin Firth, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo and Amy Adams. What's most annoying about his ballot is that he didn’t vote for Foreign-Language Film, Documentary Feature or any of the shorts categories because he had "obligations elsewhere" during their Academy screenings. With at least two New York screenings of every one of those films, that's a lot of nights (and weekend afternoons) to be obligated – and it's odd that he says he regrets how "documentaries are not more widely shown" but only saw the single doc nominee for which he was sent a screener, even though all five were theatrically released in New York City. That's  why the winners in those categories are chosen by a shamefully small number of voters. (

(Franco/Hathaway photo by Bob D'Amico/ABC)