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December 12, 2008

Oscar gets Sexiest Man Alive


It's all starting to make sense now. That Oscar producer Bill Condon was cagey the other night during a spontaneous holiday party grilling by your resident Gold Rusher and some other reporter types didn't surprise any of us.

All we wanted to know was the name of the Oscar host. Come on, any of you would've done the same thing!

But now, a few things he'd said while invoking that confounding old "off the record" saw are now clicking in our brains. And by the way, since word is now out that it's Sexiest Man Alive Hugh Jackman who's hosting the Feb. 22 telecast, we feel like we've been freed from keeping our mouths shut (boy, that was a painful three days!).

Condon had said it was important to have someone as host who was thrilled all to pieces to do the job, not a celebrity who had to be arm-twisted into it. No matter how many comedian names we tossed out, he acted like we were way off base. Turns out, we were.

He did let on that the person had already been approached, and had accepted, when we interrupted his attempt at sharing some Christmas cheer at a cocktail gathering on Tuesday. So, everyone realized it was just a matter of time for the announcement.

Now that it's come, and now that "Australia" and "Wolverine" star and overall smokin' hot Jackman is the confirmed host, what can we all expect? A smooth and polished performer -- he did win an Emmy for hosting the Tonys -- who won't be insulting Hollywood's royalty from the stage. You know how they hate that!

We have to say we think this is an innocuous choice, not likely to offend anyone. But will it energize? Will it make anyone want to watch who isn't otherwise predisposed? Like Meryl Streep in her Golden Globe-nominated turn, we have doubts.



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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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