This is a week for surprises at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. On Tuesday the Academy announced that Oprah Winfrey would be the recipient of this year's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an announcement that elicited howls of outrage from show biz pundits (and rightly so -- Winfrey has had little to do with movies, either in front of or behind the camera). Now the Academy has announced that Brett Ratner and Don Mischer will produce the 84th Academy Awards telecast next year.

The choice of Ratner, announced by AMPAS president Tom Sherak, is a bit of a surprise. Ratner, 42, is the director of broad-stroked, action-packed films such as the 'Rush Hour' series, 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and the upcoming 'Tower Heist,' and picking him is clearly an attempt by AMPAS to inject fresh blood into a show that lately has been too, shall we say, not with it.

Mischer, of course, is a long-time producer of the Emmys, the Tonys, Super Bowl Halftime Shows and produced and directed last year's 83rd Academy Awards, for which he just received an Emmy nomination.
categories Movies, Oscars