Here’s a poignant (and very precious) Gold Derby reunion. See Jack Mathews and Thelma Adams up close as they present their current Oscar predictions — two of our original experts when this website was launched to track the “Gladiator” vs. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” vs. “Traffic” derby. Herein, you will hear me tell the story of how we all met and I recruited them to join me, Dave Karger, Joel Siegel, Anne Thompson, Gene Seymour, Pete Hammond and others at trackside back in our earliest cyber-days. Ah, memories!
Both are rock-star pundits. Thelma worked for many distinguished years at the New York Post and Us Weekly; she’s a two-time past president of the New York Film Critics Circle and nowadays a best-selling novelist (check out her new, snappy masterwork “The Last Woman Standing“).
Jack is past film critic for the L.A. Times, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today and the Detroit Free-Press (what a lineup!), Everybody loved his savvy reviews (well, except filmmakers who got deservedly trashed), but his best articles always featured fascinating spit-balling of that year’s Oscar race that you could never find anywhere else. Sure, Oscar punditry is everywhere today. Indeed, it’s now a $100 million-per-year media industry and Gold Derby plays a star role. But it’s important to note that all of us veterans like me, Thelma, Pete Hammond, Anne Thompson, Sasha Stone, Jeff Wells and others grew up reading, and revering Jack’s stuff. He’s our — and your — godfather.
Not convinced? I remind you that Jack was the only expert at Gold Derby last year who foresaw that jawdropper by Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”). Who’s Jack picking now? See here. Then check out Thelma’s predictions and see how their picks stack up against those of our other 26 pundits.
BELOW: Listen to the alternative audio podcast version of our Oscar chat. Do a search for Gold Derby at iTunes to subscribe to our regular podcast channel.