SideShow YOUR DAILY DOSE OF GOSSIP

Posted: January 19, 2010

Cameron! Bigelow! It's on!

Awards season! Yahoo! From the embarrassing, odorous awfulness of Kristin Chenoweth at the VH1 Critics' Choice Movie Awards, to Ricky Gervais eating directly from the dead body of Mel Gibson at the Golden Globes, to Whitney Houston knocking 'em cross-eyed at the BET Honors, it was a weekend kickoff of hysterical proportions. We at SideShow loved it best when Kathryn Bigelow beat former husband (1989-91) James Cameron for best director at the Critics' Choice. Ha-ha-ha! And her indie joint, The Hurt Locker, beat out his full-on industry blockbuster, Avatar, for best flick. Nya-nya-nya! Bigelow, who'd way lose to Cameron in a Tiresome Race, kept it classy and generous when asked about smacking him twice - but that smile said it all, girl! True, he got her back at the Golden Globes . . . so it's best two out of three at the Oscars! They're making book on it at Vegas already. 'Avatar' clat grossly inflated?

Speaking of Avatar, as we were trying not to, headlines are calling it the No. 3 Domestic Box-Office Grosser of All Time!! Yeah, we know, Avatar tops for fifth straight weekend, yeah, soon to reach $500 mil mark, yeah, passes 1977's Star Wars. "But," say SideShow's astute readers: "Is ticket-price inflation taken into account?" Why . . . no! Hey, you're smart! BoxOfficeMojo.com keeps adjusted-rate lists, and they list Avatar as No. 34 right now. So, it's all just a pile o' barnyard gravel.

Were you made seasick by Avatar? You are not alone! We were, too. We went outside for a sec, instantly turned blue, grew 20 feet tall, and were able to ride those cool ikran pterodactyl things, so we went back inside. Reports, however, are widespread of motion-sick viewers, especially of the Imax 3-D version, thanks to the film's fast-paced, ever-moving images.

Whitney wows BET Honors

Houston, older and better than ever, stopped time itself in D.C. Saturday. She was among five super stars fted (love that circumflex?!) at the BET Honors - along with Queen Latifah, Sean P. Diddy Combs, neurosurgeon Keith Black, and Brown U. prez Ruth Simmons. Jennifer Hudson sang a Whitney tune that brought Whit to her feet. Kim Burrell, Stevie Wonder, Trey Songz, India.Arie, and Mary J. Blige also shone.

Hosts with the least and the most

So who won? Kristin Chenoweth, Critics' Choice host, or Ricky Gervais, Golden Glops emcee? He! Both took the low road, which we applaud. But Kris C couldn't get nobody's attention - not even when she approached Jeremy Renner, lead actor of The Hurt Locker, in a bomb suit. At the Gilded Grabs, Gervais drank beer while he insulted Steve Carell (he always does: Carell does the U.S. version of Gervais' show The Office), Angelina Jolie, and plastic surgery ("On a serious note, just looking at all the faces here, it reminds me of all the great work that's been done this year by cosmetic surgeons"). Especially brave was his intro of Mel Gibson as alkie. But Mel, playful humor very well sustained, kept the jest going, weaving a bit as he took the mike. . . . And can the world love Sandra Bullock enough? First, she ties goddess Meryl Streep for best actress at the Critics' Choice, then Sandy B takes the mike and says, "This is [nasty word]," like she's mad! Then she wins it all by her own singular self at the Golden Grubs! Upset Sandy! The New York Jets of the awards world! Now she and Meryl have a best-of-three showdown coming, too! And yay for Mo'Nique, best supporting actress at the Golden Glows.

Nielsen half-Nelson for Globes

People like the Globes. They really like them! They topped Sunday prime time, according to Nielsen's TV ratings, with 14.1 mil viewers. That beat 60 Minutes, which mysteriously had more viewers (15.4 mil) but a smaller market share; and the two-hour season bow of 24. (BTW, Jack Bauer is so not getting to L.A. anytime soon!) Guess what? The Golden Globes Red Carpet Arrival Show was eighth, nippin' the heels of Cold Case.

Dishin' it on the rubescent rug

Funniest remark while on Red Carpet to the Galloping Gloops: "It's raining a lot - I'm worried that my tattoos are going to start showing." Tina Fey said that! Second place, Penlope Cruz: "I'm not like Puff Daddy . . . I hold my own umbrella!" Third place, Anna Kendrick, who, asked her thoughts on George Clooney, said, "Yeah, I'm done with that."

Deft, spectacular segue to Clooney

Speaking of The Man Who Gets Anything or -one He Wants, George Clooney is doing the good work for Haiti. His benefit Hope for Haiti telethon is 8 p.m. Friday on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, BET, The CW, HBO, MTV, VH1, and CMT. He'll cohost with Wyclef Jean. Confirmed biggies include Bono, Alicia Keys, Sting, and Justin Timberlake. Proceeds benefit Partners in Health, the Red Cross, Oxfam, and Yle Haiti Foundation, which was founded by Jean.

BTW, Jean is fending off bad PR re Yle. On Friday, Smoking Gun reported tax, accounting, and spending irregularities. Ironic: Yle has raised $2 mil via cell-phone donations. (You text the word yele to the number 501501 and $5 is sent to Yle and charged to your phone account.) Jean responded angrily by Twitter, denying personal enrichment or corruption.

Kids' books awards announced

SideShow loves kids. Our peer group! And yesterday, the American Library Association, at its big midwinter chandelier-swing in Boston, announced the top books, audiobooks, and vids for kids. That includes the Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz awards. Highlights:

The 2010 Newbery Medal goes to Rebecca Stead for her astonishing book When You Reach Me. Newbery Honors go to Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip Hoose; The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin; and The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, by Rodman Philbrick.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children goes to The Lion & the Mouse, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney. Caldecott Honors go to All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee and written by Liz Garton Scanlon; and Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski and written by Joyce Sidman.

The Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults goes to Going Bovine, written by Libba Bray. Printz Honors go to Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith, by Deborah Heiligman; The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey; Punkzilla, by Adam Rapp; and Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973, by John Barnes.

No good books for kids? You won't say that when you see all the awards at www.ala.org.

Shorter bits for the patience-impaired

Coordinated pro-Conan O'Brien rallies went off in New York, Chicago, and at Universal Studios in Hollywood yesterday. Fans are protesting NBC's shoddy treatment of O'Brien in the Jay Leno mess, which, how 'bout dat, has led to huge ratings spikes for the Peacock. It was miserable and raining in SoCal, so the nice NBC people gave protesters coffee and doughnuts. . . . John Mayer yesterday on Twitter: "I'm not saying I don't like watching Idol auditions, I just have to watch 30 minutes of Marvin Gaye live videos directly after." . . . Simon Monjack, husband of deceased actress Brittany Murphy, tells People she died of a congenital heart condition, not anorexia. Sharon Murphy, her mother, tells Radar Online it was a heart murmur. . . . Glee (which restarts in April) has cast Jennifer Lopez (ludicrously lovely on the latest Latina cover) as a school cafeteria waitress. We smell an Emmy!!!!

This column contains information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.

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