The Oscar hosts for the last few years have ranged from old war horses to disasters. I hated Seth MacFarlane's mean-spirited humor to the proceedings last year and the dull duos of Anne Hathaway / James Franco and Alec Baldwin / Steve Martin did little to liven the proceedings. In the ten years or so I've taken the time to watch the Oscars the only hosting job I really enjoyed was John Stewart.
But reliable hosts are so for a good reason, and I'm happy that next year's show will be in the hands of Ellen DeGeneres. She showed the right level of good humor and sardonic commentary when she hosted the Oscar's previously and given the disappointment of the last few years I'm satisfied that the show is in her hands. I would love to see some younger hands get a shot at hosting, like Joseph Gordon-Levitt or Ellen Page, but DeGeneres is still a good choice.
Pakistan will also be submitting a film for Oscar consideration for the first time in over 50 years. I'm heartened to see that this is happening because I am of the firm belief that peace can never be obtained unless ideas are exchanged through art. I still hope that Palestine will be recognized as well some day, because it's still a travesty that Elia Suleiman's exquisite Divine Intervention was not considered because "Palestine isn't a country." This is a step in the right direction, and I hope as the older generation gives way to new Oscar appointees then the field of consideration will grow ever-wider.
In development news, I knew that James Cameron was going to develop Avatar sequels, but it seems that the series may outlive him. There are three films planned, putting the Avatar saga at a quadrilogy. I enjoyed the first Avatar film quite a bit, and so long as Cameron's imagination and zest for implementing new technology keep pace with the storytelling I'll happily enter my 30's with his films.
Look for more reviews and Ryan's next In Appreciation piece over the next couple of days. Have a great weekend!