Veteran Oscars pundit Jack Mathews bets on ‘Birdman’ (podcast)

The dean of Oscarologists, Jack Mathews, is shaking up the derby by pooh-poohing the “Boyhood” bandwagon and catching a ride on the wings of “Birdman.”

“I think ‘Birdman‘ will win Best Picture because it’s a big movie,” he says in our podcast chat. “It’s a real movie. It’s daring, fresh and the performances are astonishing.

“When I saw ‘Boyhood,’ I thought it was interesting,” he adds. “Just OK. If it weren’t for the backstory and you’re just taking it for what is on screen, It’s sort of a television movie about a kid growing up and not a very interesting kid. It’s not an Oscar movie. It doesn’t feel like an Oscar movie. It doesn’t have the gravity of an Oscar movie.”

Mathews reigns as one of the premiere prognosticators given his esteemed career. He’s been covering the beat since 1968 for the Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, USA Today and the Detroit Free Press. He was among the first 8 experts who predicted the Oscars at Gold Derby when we launched 15 years ago, so he has a long kinship with our site and we have fierce admiration for his crystal-ball skills.

Now settle in and listen to our chat below. Best parts: hearing Mathews’ memories of covering the Oscars through the years, starting in 1968 when he first attended the show not realizing that he was supposed to wear black tie.

“I had a fine brown suit on,” he recalls. “It was the year that Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn tied for Best Actress. It was pretty exciting to see Barbra Streisand come into the press room with that see-through outfit and bikini underwear.”

After you listen to our chat, do a search at iTunes Store for “Gold Derby” to subscribe to our podcast series or check out our channel at Libsyn. Make your Oscar predictions here and aim to win our contest prize of $1,000.



PODCAST: Jenelle Riley (Variety): Why I pick ‘Birdman

PODCAST: Oscars insanity! Sasha Stone and I wonder: What the hell’s next? (podcast)

PODCAST: Pete Hammond on Oscars’ cliffhangers: Who’s out front?


More News from GoldDerby