By Caryn James | James on Screens January 16, 2011 at 5:54AM
I stand by my idea that the show's the thing, so here are a few moments I hope will be eye-opening as we watch the awards tonight (NBC at 8 ET):
ANGELINA JOLIE'S NOMINATION: Will the audience audibly crack up when her name is announced as a nominee for The Tourist? The film wasn't an abomination, but c'mon, best actress? Laughter at home is assumed. She is in the Comedy or Musical category.
BURLESQUE: Another can-they-keep-a-straight-face alert as the Cristina Aguilera-Cher campfest contends for Best Comedy or Musical. Irrefutable evidence of the Globes' wackadoodle nominations.
RICKY GERVAIS: Who will be the most outrageous target of his humor? Mel Gibson is yesterday's news, Mark Zuckerberg is just too obvious. This is a wide-open category.
And couple of genuine awards-related issues:
COLIN FIRTH: Like Jeff Bridges last year, winning everything for Crazy Heart all the way to the Oscars, or Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote, Firth's steady path to the Best Actor Academy Award should start here.
NATALIE PORTMAN vs. ANNETTE BENING: Never mind. This big Oscar matchup is moot tonight because the Best Actress nominees are foolishly in different categories, Portman in drama for Black Swan and Bening in comedy for The Kids Are All Right. Yes, that film has humor but Bening isn't even the funny part.
So let's take this about as seriously as Gervais does -- serious enough to show up, common-sensical enough to laugh at it.
I invite you to join me for updates during the awards by following me on Twitter: @carynjames
Meanwhile, here's a brief promo in which Gervais speaks truth to power.