The Academy Award nominations have been announced, and the presence of young stars, including Natalie Portman and Jesse Eisenberg, alongside the likes of legends Annette Bening and Colin Firth could provide the right amount of glamour and freshness.
The fusion of old Hollywood with the newer faces has the potential to provide a larger viewership for the Academy Awards than could be achieved by targeting only the Academy’s voters.
Drawing in a younger audience is vital for the Academy’s prestige and survival, and its choice of James Franco and Anne Hathaway as hosts is most likely an effort to bring in younger viewers on Oscar night.
The two young actors will be the youngest hosts since Goldie Hawn hosted the Oscars in the 1970s. Franco is nominated for Best Actor, and Hathaway has been nominated previously.
“The King’s Speech” scored the most nominations (12), but the blockbuster, “Inception”’s best picture nomination will likely draw the younger crowd to their TVs when the ceremony takes place on Feb. 27.
While the other nominees have had respectable box office returns, Inception has earned more cash than almost all of the others combined.
The question of who or what will win in the major categories is still unanswered.
Natalie Portman and Annette Bening are rumored to be neck-and-neck for the Leading Actress category, and the only wins that seem assured so far are Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) for Supporting Actor, and Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) for Leading Actor.
Best picture is also still up for grabs, with “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech” racking up various precursor awards.