(Photo: Splash News Online) There has been a lot of debate in the press about whether Australian actor Hugh Jackman is the best person to host the 81st Academy Awards.
The Los Angeles Times published opposing columns, with TV critic Mary McNamara saying that Jackman is wrong, and columnist Patrick Goldstein supporting the choice to go with "a classy movie and theatre star instead of a big mouth comic."
And that's just the tip of the iceberg compared to what's going on in the blogosphere.
The decision to have Jackman as host is unusual, since the Academy typically employs comedians. However, when comic Jon Stewart hosted last year, the ratings dropped 24 percent from the previous year.
"Of course, that could have nothing to do with Stewart," one Oscar insider told RADAR. "The general public usually doesn't care when more art-house fare like There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men dominates the show."
All of which is beside the point. The controversy generates the kind of talk that gets viewers to tune in and see if the hunk can hold his own. With films like Frost/Nixon and Slumdog Millionaire expected to dominate the nominees, they'll need all the marquee clout they can get.