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Good Morning Oscar, January 28: Built for Speed

New Oscar promos show a pair of hosts who do things very fast

If one is to judge by the promos, the 83rd Academy Awards will be … short?  The Academy has released the first two video promos for the show with hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, both of them all of 16 seconds long. A couple of sight gags, a pratfall, a mock wardrobe malfunction and out – if the show itself is paced like this, it'll be wrapped up in no time and we can all get to bed early. But don't count on it.  (YouTube Oscars Channel)

James Franco and Anne HathawayMTV, being the repository of so much history itself, looks at the Franco/Hathaway promos and does what it says is "A Historical Comparison." They don't like Jon Stewart's promo from 2006, seem to approve of Steve Martin's and Alec Baldwin's from last year, and think Hugh Jackman's 2009 spot doesn't prepare viewers for how entertaining he was as host. In MTV's world, history  is something that goes all the way back to 2006. (MTV Movies Blog)

Speaking of Hugh Jackman, he obviously won't be hosting this year's show, and he wasn't nominated – but he will be on hand, says the Academy, as one of the show's presenters. No word on what category he'll present or what his duties will entail – but remember, two years ago he pulled Anne Hathaway out of the audience to help him with his opening number. With Hathaway co-hositng and Jackman on hand, could turnabout be fair play? (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)

Guy Lodge notes a recent Hollywood Reporter story in which Sony Classics' co-chief Michael Barker, thrilled at the Best Animated Feature nomination for "The Illusionist," says the hand-drawn French film was a big underdog for a nom and that "not one pundit predicted it." Lodge, who's been a backer of the film for many months and has called it his favorite film of 2010, sets the record straight: he predicted it, and so did Sasha Stone, Nathaniel Rogers, me, and others. "[G]ive us pundits some credit," Lodge says, reasonably. (In Contention)

We know how many Oscar nominations each of the top films received – but Matt Noble goes one step further and decodes whether the haul was above or below expectations, based on pre-nom predictions. He says "The King's Speech" met its highest expectations, "The Social Network" met its lowest, "The Fighter" met its expectations and "True Grit" overperformed. But I'd quibble with his calling "Toy Story 3" an underperformer because it didn't get a Best Score nomination, since composer Randy Newman opted not to even submit his music in that category. (Gold Derby)