The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

February 24, 2013

Oscars have clear favorites, wild-card MacFarlane

(Continued)

LOS ANGELES —

The result could be a fun night for younger, hipper TV audiences that Oscar organizers are courting but a crude awakening for traditionalists who like their Academy Awards to lean more toward the sacred than the profane. Or it could be that MacFarlane makes the most of the thankless task of shepherding the Oscars, striking a nice balance between respecting Hollywood and poking at it.

"I think a little bit of that injected into the mix will go a long way, but I do also have to be mindful, in this instance, of not losing the audience that's there every year," MacFarlane said. "It's a different audience from my own, but I do have to be respectful that they will be watching."

So maybe it's an Oscar show that's shaken, but not stirred up too much. That might suit one of the evening's special honorees, British super-spy James Bond, whose adventures will be the subject of a tribute to mark the 50th anniversary of his first big-screen outing in "Dr. No." Adele will perform her Oscar-nominated title tune to last year's Bond tale "Skyfall," while the show features Shirley Bassey, who sang the Bond theme songs for "Goldfinger," ''Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker."

The show presents a salute to movie musicals of the last decade, with "Chicago" Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones and "Dreamgirls" winner Jennifer Hudson joining "Les Miserables" cast members that include best-actor nominee Hugh Jackman, supporting-actress front-runner Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter and Amanda Seyfried.

Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have lined up a bubbly mix of young and old Hollywood as presenters, performers and special guests, from Barbra Streisand, Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda to "Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe, "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart and Robert Downey Jr. and his superhero colleagues from "The Avengers."

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