Robert Osborne had an elegant style and a way of introducing movies that enticed you not to change the channel.
“I’ve been always crazy about movies and always tried to get other people interested in them. Because I think it’s doing people a great favor. You know, you’re not asking somebody to take poison or something when you try to get them to see a movie that’s wonderful, you’re trying to open them up to this whole world that’s out there in this particular film that they might not be aware of.”
Osborne had lots of fans who praised him for not giving away the plot of the movie he was describing on “Turner Classic Movies.” He liked when his fans shared that they trusted his knowledge and his opinions.
He told me that it was a surprise to discover how personal his appearances were to his viewers: “I didn’t realize that, besides being a storyteller, in some ways I was being a nurse to people. We get so much mail and emails from people that have been ill or going through a divorce or going through the problems of being unemployed or something like that. You realize that you’re filling a void in their life by giving them something entertaining to make them feel a little better. I find that fascinating.”
Robert was a classic.
What?! What’s going on? How could this happen? What went wrong? WOW! Oh my God! The F-word flying in the air.
In such a wild lightning bolt of a moment minds explode with a jumble of reactions and parallel narratives. Nervous laughter, adrenaline driven shouts, everyone guessing at an explanation, asking each other for an urgent reality check.
Call outs of “Is this a first? What Oscar mistakes have there been over the years?”
Eyes turn to the TV screen as the craziness continues to play out on the air. How are these people going to handle this beyond-belief moment? Take a look!
A bizarre calamity – some froze and panicked, some did their job and sped to make things right. Protocol and set plans for mistakes – out the window. Anger and bewilderment dominate.
The show goes off the air with a charged mix of joy and bafflement.
The buzz escalates. “What took so long to fix the error? Who caused this mess-up?” – and typical of a room full of reporters to ask, “Is someone going to make a statement?”
I wondered to myself. How would I have responded? Getting a dream of Best Picture snatched away in front of the world has got to be an emotional tsunami
I can only hope I’d be equal to Jordan Horowitz, “La La Land” producer. His grace and poise and out and out goodness superseded what had to be a thud of a let-down.
“Amid the confusion, there was one person willing to take charge and explain, even though he had just given an acceptance speech for a career-defining award he did not actually win.
Horowitz marched up to the microphone to make an announcement.
“‘Moonlight won,” he declared.
“Guys, guys, I’m sorry. No. There’s a mistake,” Horowitz added. “‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture.”
“This is not a joke,” he continued.
“Come up here,” he commanded, motioning for the “Moonlight” team to come to the stage and collect the top Oscar that Horowitz briefly thought his film had just won.
While the people in the audience were gasping with surprise, Horowitz — as if to assure them this wasn’t fake news — held up the card just pulled from the correct award envelope, so that the cameras could zoom in.
“I’m going to be really thrilled to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight,’” he said.
Horowitz wasn’t just a gracious loser; he became the closest thing the Oscars can get to a folk hero.”
Ruth Negga, a lovely surprise in the Best Actress category, is the child of a mixed race couple. To her, ‘Loving’ is a story that is “quintessentially American.”