By this time last year, Oscar producers had already announced that Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin would present the 2010 Academy Awards. Apparently, however, the powers-that-be are having a harder time choosing a successor. Hugh Jackman, who won rave reviews for his 2009 stint, has reportedly declined to give it another go in 2011. Commentators, of course, have no shortage of suggestions:
Robert Downey, Jr.
"Can't get Wolverine?" asks Jen Chaney at The Washington Post. Then "go with Iron Man." The Due Date star is "funny, fast on his feet, beloved... by people in the industry," and has re-earned his place among "moviedom's top actors" after years of addiction. What a lesson that would be for Hollywood's "troubled starlets."
Of course the Fresh Prince ought to do it, says Tom O'Neil at the Los Angeles Times. "He's the biggest movie star in the world right now, extremely likable and a terrific comedian and entertainer." What more do you need?
The "30 Rock" writer and actress has had "two box office smashes in 2010 to prove her movie bonafides," says Dixon Gaines at Movieline, and it's been three years since a woman (Ellen DeGeneres) presented the awards. Fey is an expert at straddling, as all Oscar hosts must, the "thin line between respectful and satirical."
"It's been a great year" for last year's Best Actress winner, says Dana Moran at Chicago Now, aside from that "whole You-Know-Who situation." Still, while "we'd like to see her return to the Oscars stage," she seems to be more comfortable with "more rock 'n' roll awards shows" like the MTV Movie Awards these days.
Neil Patrick Harris
"We all admire" the "How I Met Your Mother" star's presenting skills, says Dave Karger at Entertainment Weekly. "Why not let him tackle the biggest show there is?" The public likes Harris, says Steve Point at The Wrap, but "he has very little film cachet," and it might seem as if The Oscars were copying lesser awards shows.
The British comedian "absolutely destroyed" at this year's Golden Globes, says Sam Morgan at Hollywood.com, and is "easily one of the top three comedians in the world at the moment." Unlikely, says Roger Moore at the Orlando Sentinel. "He's doing the Globes again" in 2011, so he's out.
Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin
"Consider this one," says Moira McDonald at the Seattle Times. The veteran actresses gave a "tribute to Robert Altman on Oscar night a few years back, and it was perfection." Why not shake it up a little? Or a lot?