Director, Writer, Producer
Charlie is a director, writer and producer who tries to make films with humanity, heart and humor. In 2020 he is in post production on his latest directorial effort, "The Book of Leah", staring Armand Assante. He is also executive producing the German feature film "Dylan Papermoon", which is currently filming in Bamberg under the direction of Rene G Daniel.
For 2020, Charlie is directing, co-writing, and producing a World War Two thriller entitled "Bodyguard of Lies" for Babieka Films ("The Promise", "Blade Runner 2049", etc.). In addition he is overseeing two television mini-series, "1920 The Year of The Six Presidents" based on the book by David Pietrusza, and "Killer Ride" based on the series by TD Rizor. He also runs a young adult publishing label with former Dimension Films executive Michael Zoumas.
In addition, Matthau is also producing the feature "The Invitation" and "The Sugar Shack" with Judd Rubin and overseeing a young adult publishing label with former Dimension Films executive Michael Zoumas. They will publish four books in 2020 with an eye towards turning them into TV Series.
Matthau wrote and directed Freaky Deaky" based upon Elmore Leonard's book and which starred Christian Slater and Crispin Glover. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival where it was acquired by eOne, and released in 2013.
Matthau directed and produced The Grass Harp, based on Truman Capote's atmospheric tale of three Southern misfits who take up residence in a tree house. The film allowed Matthau to direct a stellar cast that included Piper Laurie, Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Mary Steenburgen, Nell Carter, and Edward Furlong. The film, distributed by Fine Line Features, premiered in October of 1996 and critics were glowing in their response". Lawrence Van Gelder of the New York Times reports: A success: a sweet, wise, funny, poignant film from director Charles Matthau who has extracted performances that are expert, sharp and distinctive." Says Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times: "A beguiling film in every way." "'The Grass Harp' succeeds so admirably it speaks volumes about Charles Matthau's own inimitable talents...a polished, touching insightful and exceedingly sensitive effort, says Wade Major of Entertainment Today.
Charlie made his feature directorial debut at age 24 with the offbeat comedy Doin Time on Planet Earth. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films nominated him for the Best Director Award. The film was also selected as one of the 10 Best Films of 1990 by the Council of Film Organizations.
Matthau has received numerous other awards for his work. The Academy of Family Films & Family Television voted Matthau: Best Director of the Year Award for his work on The Grass Harp. In September of 1997, the Matthau family was honored by the American Film Institute with it's first ever Platinum Circle Award, a newly created annual honor paying tribute to an entire family of talented artists.
Matthau also directed Her Minor Thing a romantic comedy starring Estella Warren, Christian Kane, and Michael Weatherly. This feature film, was released in early 2008 to favorable response, and continues to be popular on Lifetime. Also, Matthau directed Baby-O which is a musical set in the Las Vegas jazz world and features music by Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer. The film stars Theresa Russell, David Proval, Robert Goulet, and Charles Durning.
In television, Matthau directed his father Walter and Carol Burnett in The Marriage Fool (aka Love After Death), about a widower who falls in love with another woman despite the disapproval of his children. Televised in the fall of 1998 on the CBS Television Network, "The Marriage Fool" was ranked the #1 program of the week with a 14.0 Nielsen rating and a 23 share.
Charlie previously won praise for directing and producing the 1993 television movie Mrs. Lambert Remembers Love, starring Ellen Burstyn. The film tells the moving story of a woman who takes to the road to save her grandson from becoming a foster child. The Hollywood Reporter characterized it as "wise, affecting television that should not be missed."
A graduate of the film school at the University of Southern California, Matthau wrote and directed the popular USC short The Duck Film, and I Was a Teenage Fundraiser. Matthau spends his spare time reading about history, losing money on sporting events, and raising funds for cancer research.