Chenoweth is lovely but more often than not the response she was receiving from the audience (for fart jokes and multiple ones about her breasts) is the same minor local celebrities get when called in to be the entertainment for some business dinner. And that was before Tobey Maguire came out to remind everyone how they can help the devastated survivors of Haiti. Text Haiti To 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross.
For every positive event, like the tribute to John Hughes (very nicely edited), Jason Reitman honoring his father, Ivan, Kathryn Bigelow winning Best Director, Kevin Bacon being honored with the Joel Siegel Award for his work with SixDegrees.org or Sarah Silverman going off on another penis rant in front of all the nominated children in the audience, there were more than a few lowlights including:
- Red carpet co-host Tim Kash trying to get Sarah Silverman to say that The Hangover was her favorite comedy of the year. Instead, she raved over Zombieland. When she wondered if it was even nominated, he told her no and called her "a shmuck." Zombieland was indeed nominated for Best Comedy and Kash was actually merely following up on Silverman calling herself "a shmuck" for being friends with people in The Hangover and admitting to having not seen it. Kash actually did a fine job on the carpet.
- An ad for K-Y Brand Intense during the show to increase arousal. One imagines this is part of every junketeer's gift basket to guarantee glowing hyperbole.
- Hearing Nick Jonas singing The Cars' "Just What I Needed" before going to commercial. It was like listening to Peter Brady with a squeak toy where the sun don't shine. It was almost as bad as Death Cab For Cutie butchering the Simple Minds' Breakfast Club theme after the John Hughes tribute. Although Jason Reitman disagrees with me.
- Mo'Nique calling Lee Daniels "one of the most brilliant directors and visionaries of our time." Did you see Shadowboxer, honey?
- A skit with Chenoweth playing the parts of murdered Susie Salmon from The Lovely Bones and ageless murderess Esther from Orphan. They discussed the "in-between", helping daddy to "move on" and then ended with Esther smashing Susie in the head with a hammer. A little icky, especially just before Saoirse Ronan won Best Young Actor for her terrific performance as the murdered Susie.
- A montage of apparently less-than-important awards (like Foreign Language Film) all mashed together and having the first batch overshadowed by showing how Avatar trounced all of them by winning Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound, Cinematography and Editing. I think before this group announces awards in these categories, they have to prove that they actually know what they are. Sorry, Mr. Cameron, that was not a shot at Avatar which, if nothing else, was superb on the technical side.
- Abbie Cornish being asked to read that last year's winner for Best Documentary went on to win the Oscar. I'm not saying that the BFCA voted only for the nominated films on the Oscar short list for the category (The Cove was victorious) to get their percentage up (4 of their 7 winners won the Oscar), but it would have been embarrassing if Anvil: The Story Of Anvil, Capitalism: A Love Story or This Is It won after that statement, now wouldn't it?
- The introduction of the John Hughes tribute presented by John Krasinski and Amy Poehler ended with a bit of a timing issue in the director's booth. After citing numerous dialogue staples from his films, it ended with them repeating the essay to Mr. Vernon referring to "a brain" (cut to James Cameron) and an athlete (cut to Vera Farmiga) and a basket case - a delayed cut to Quentin Tarantino who was also labeled as "a princess", a label probably meant for Gabourey Sidibe who was then labeled "a criminal." Why that final cut was meant for Meryl Streep is anyone's guess.
- In case voters were actually watching, there was not one, but two commercials for Nine with quotes blasted across it reminding them that it was nominated for five Golden Globes and TEN "Critic's Choice" awards. A reminder that the BFCA vote early and vote often for films deemed early in awards season to be potential Oscar contenders. That's 15 nominations between the two groups. The film has only received, appropriately enough, nine other mentions from other groups this season. Up In The Air, Inglourious Basterds, The Hurt Locker and The Young Victoria only received one spot each. Oh yeah, the Weinstein's The Road also received two commercial spots. Hope voters were paying attention, because Nine and The Road didn't win a single award.