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Matthew St Clair

Freelance Film Critic

Location icon United States of America

Film has been a lifelong passion of mine. Even when I was about 6 years old, I would write film ideas. It is something I hope to make a career out of and is something I enjoy doing. Since 2013, I have delved into the world of film blogging and film criticism and I hope to share my passion and knowledge of the film world with other outlets.

Portfolio

Gay Essential

The Gay Essential Film Blog
02/04/2018
You Can't Escape Lithuania -, Gay Essential Talks To Romas Zabarauskas

Watching You Can't Escape Lithuania is an experience that is indeed inescapable. So much so that by the time it's over, you can come up with your own theories as to what the title means. "In one way, people feel that they cannot escape their background or their education."

Cinema Sentries

Cinemasentries
01/22/2018
Phantom Thread Movie Review: An Ambiguous Tour De Force

One way to describe is that it is very cerebral. There's always a lot of focus on the faces of the characters, forcing you to analyze what is going on in their heads which will be frustrating for some viewers.

Cinemasentries
01/16/2018
Proud Mary Movie Review: A Frustratingly Bad Taraji P. Henson Vehicle

When watching the retro opening credits of Proud Mary where our main heroine is getting prepped up with the song "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" playing the background, it seems like we're in for an action thrill ride in the vein of '70s blaxploitation films. But then, within the first thirty seconds, our expectations immediately become squandered.

Cinemasentries
12/17/2017
The Shape of Water Movie Review: A Poetic Love Letter to Cinema

One word can be used to describe : Poetic. The Shape Of Water is a poetic demonstration of the magic of storytelling and after the ambitious yet divisive Crimson Peak, it is a return to form for director Guillermo Del Toro who has proven himself to be a master at crafting poetic genre fare like The Devil's Backbone and one of the best movies ever made, Pan's Labyrinth.

Cinemasentries
12/15/2017
Desert Hearts Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: An Unsung Queer Classic

I never wanted to end. I didn't want to leave behind the breathtaking scenery of the desert and I definitely wanted to see more of the chemistry between the two leads. isan intimate yet flawless gem that captures forbidden love that is apolitical yet groundbreaking during its time of release because it was the first film about a same-sex relationship between two women that isn't tragic.

Cinemasentries
11/24/2017
Coco Movie Review: Pixar's Best Since Inside Out

Even though Coco follows a standard Disney formula with its storyline about a young child trying to find their true calling, like with Mulan and Moana, it still manages to find ways to reinvent itself. Coco is not just about listening to your inner voice and taking control of your destiny.

Cinemasentries
11/23/2017
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Movie Review: The Most Timely Film Of 2017

Martin McDonagh may be a director from Ireland, but it is eerie how he has crafted a film about America that is so timely with . It deals with a woman starting a rampage against a patriarchal society which could easily mirror how women are standing up to the male-dominated Hollywood in the midst of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Cinemasentries
11/22/2017
Lady Bird Movie Review: Greta Gerwig Soars in Her Directorial Debut

Actress Greta Gerwig has proven her naturalistic acting chops in films like 20th Century Women, No Strings Attached, and Jackie. But now, she has announced herself as an exciting new filmmaking voice with , her solo directorial debut. Lady Bird may tread into a familiar genre: The coming-of-age dramedy.

Cinemasentries
11/08/2017
Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review: Marvel's Best Comedy to Date

The previous films have proven to be quite a mixed bag. The first film by Kenneth Branagh was interesting because of how it played into Branagh's Shakespearean sensibilities. But its sequel Thor: The Dark World was a giant black hole of mediocrity with no creative vision and is the worst film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.

Cinemasentries
11/06/2017
A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review: A Bittersweet Glass Of Eggnog

When the film Bad Moms came out last year, it managed to become a massive summer hit towards the ends of the summer season. It made $183.9 million worldwide and became the highest-grossing film for newbie distributor STX Entertainment. But because the film did incredibly well, that meant it would get a sequel.

Film Inquiry

Film Inquiry
11/17/2017
WHEELMAN: This Vehicle Needs Newer Parts | Film Inquiry

Films that are set in one place and/or have a limited amount of character have proven to be the most intriguing because of the various ways that filmmakers could have fun with the physical limitations that they showcase.

Film Inquiry
11/01/2017
NO DRESS CODE REQUIRED: An Urgent Cry For Equality

As I was watching No Dress Code Required, I kept asking questions: Why? Why does it matter? Why are people devoting such energy into making sure two men, who are strangers to them, aren't given the right to marry? If it's not hurting anybody, why does it matter?

Film Inquiry
10/02/2017
BEACH RATS: Terrific Film- Just Don't Call It "Moonwhite" | Film Inquiry

As I give my review for , I'll just get one thing out of the way. I'm sure people will write this off as a "white " or call it "Moonwhite" or whatnot. There are similarities between the two because they are both about male youths coming to terms with their sexuality and they depict the theme of masculinity.

Film Inquiry
08/30/2017
THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM: A Convention-Defying Murder Mystery

While The Limehouse Golem is a typical "whodunit" thrill ride, it still manages to act as a pastiche to the classic genre, playing with conventions such as gender politics and the methods that our main character uses to solve the crime.

Film Inquiry
08/21/2017
Actor Profile: Amy Adams | Film Inquiry

Amy Adams is one of our most versatile actresses. She can go from playing a sweet Disney princess in , to a neurotic art dealer feeling the emptiness of her lonely mansion in Nocturnal Animals with absolute ease.

Film Inquiry
06/20/2017
THE HANDMAID'S TALE Could Be Better Than Any Sci-Fi Film In 2017 | Film Inquiry

The Hulu series known as The Handmaid's Tale is an eerily timely yet incredibly structured piece of television. Yet because it carries the aesthetics of what makes an amazing movie (great acting, good scriptwriting, beautiful cinematography, etc.), it so far has managed to surpass what is coming out on the big screen this year, capturing the filmmaking passion that I fear is being lost in mainstream film today.

Film Inquiry
06/07/2017
CATFIGHT: Both Physically & Verbally Bruising | Film Inquiry

is a satire that contains a biting wit that hits from the minute the movie begins. Even if it initially left me unsure of what it is a satire of, it still manages to work as a character study and the nature of envy, which can consume us to the point where we lose everything and all we have left is our jealousy and hatred.

Film Inquiry
05/31/2017
LGBTQ Cinema: The Perils Of Queer-Coding | Film Inquiry

Movies are not only meant to inspire and make people feel something by the time the credits roll, but they are also meant to reflect the various demographics that pay to see them to capture that feeling of art connecting audiences. But unfortunately, Hollywood hasn't made much progress in representing every demographic.

Trailer Reviews For Shore Publishing

Shore Publishing
10/12/2017
Trailer Drop: Annihilation (2018)

After making his directorial debut with Ex Machina, Alex Garland makes his return to the sci-fi genre with Annihilation starring Natalie Portman, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Oscar Isaac.

Shore Publishing
10/05/2017
Trailer Drop: The Meyerowitz Stories (2017)

The trailer for the dramedy called The Meyerowitz Stories directed by Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha, The Squid and the Whale) and starring Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, and Emma Thompson recently dropped.

Shore Publishing
09/28/2017
Trailer Drop: Downsizing (2017)

Director Alexander Payne (Election, Citizen Ruth, Nebraska) makes his venture into the sci-fi genre with his upcoming satire Downsizing starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Jason Sudeikis, and Kristen Wiig.

Zip06.com
08/24/2017
Trailer Drop: Molly's Game (2017)

Jessica Chastain looks to hit the jackpot as former Olympian skier Molly Bloom, who staged the world's most exclusive high stakes poker game that eventually caught the attention of the FBI, in Molly's Game, which is written and directed by screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Steve Jobs) in his directorial debut.

Zip06.com
08/17/2017
Trailer Review: Mother! (2017)

Film maestro Darren Aronofsky makes his big screen return with the psychological horror thriller Mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Zip06.com
08/10/2017
Trailer Drop: Call Me By Your Name (2017)

The trailer for the upcoming Sundance sensation Call Me By Your Name based on the 2007 novel by Andre Aciman and starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer, and directed by Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash), has just been released.

Filmotomy

Filmotomy
01/30/2018
Consider A Fantastic Woman for Foreign Language Film

One main narrative surrounding this year's Oscar race is how it has been the year of the woman. Our Best Picture frontrunners are Lady Bird, The Shape Of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. And the Oscar snubbed starring Diane Kruger picked up Best Foreign Language Film at both the Critic's Choice Awards and the Golden Globes.

Filmotomy
01/17/2018
Predicting the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards

Even though the Oscar nominations don't get announced until Tuesday morning, the Screen Actors Guild Awards will be taking place on Sunday and are a very important precursor. They've been a predictor of Best Picture upsets like Shakespeare In Love and Crash which won the SAG award for Best Cast In A Motion Picture.

Filmotomy
01/17/2018
Oscars 2010: The Traditional Over The Bold

When looking at past winners for Best Picture, it is winners like On The Waterfront, the first two Godfather films, The Silence Of The Lambs, Schindler's List, and The Departed that show how AMPAS has the ability to reward films that will have a strong place in film history.

Filmotomy
01/09/2018
For Your Consideration: Michelle Pfeiffer, Best Supporting Actress, mother!

There is plenty to try and decipher about the psychological thriller . For example, one could wonder whether the story about an unnamed couple trying to build a paradise called "Eden" is a parallel to the Bible. It's ambiguous to the point where the characters don't even have names.

Filmotomy
12/31/2017
Matt St.Clair's Top 10 Films of 2017

Now that 2017 has come to a close, it is time to reflect on the best that the year in cinema had to offer. And it has been quite a year. 2017 was a rich year for diversity in terms of not just the stories being told, but also the people that have made them.

Filmotomy
12/29/2017
For Your Consideration: Call Me By Your Name, Best Picture

In the wake of Moonlight winning Best Picture, we have another LGBTQ+ film that makes a strong case to win Best Picture. That film is Call Me By Your Name , an entrancing portrait of first love that is both tender and quietly devastating.

Filmotomy
12/22/2017
The Awards Run of Mudbound

Something about the awards run of Mudbound has been rather suspicious. The film has picked up major nominations from the Broadcast Film Critics Association: Supporting Actress for Mary J. Blige, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Ensemble. It also received the Robert Altman Award for its Ensemble from the Independent Spirit Awards.

Filmotomy
12/14/2017
Let's Talk About Catch Me If You Can - Filmotomy

Whenever people talk about the historical prestige films that Steven Spielberg has made over the years, they talk about films like Schindler's List, The Color Purple, and Lincoln. But sadly, it seems that nobody really talks about Catch Me If You Can.

Filmotomy
11/18/2017
For Your Consideration: Beach Rats, Best Cinematography, Helene Louvart

What makes great cinematography? Is it colorful lighting? Is it long tracking shots? Well, while those things do help create a visually intriguing experience, what ultimately makes great cinematography is its ability to act as a form of storytelling. It is up to the camera to try and translate the words that aren't written in...

Filmotomy
11/21/2017
Review: Dee Rees' Essential Mudbound

Mudbound is many things at once: A demonstration of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a portrait of racial tensions in rural America, and a universal telling of everyday people trying to live through the trials of today to build a better tomorrow. Yet the film is one thing as well: Poetic.

Filmotomy
11/06/2017
For Your Consideration: Aubrey Plaza, Best Actress, Ingrid Goes West

As those of us that follow the Oscar race know, Best Actress this year is a bloodbath with no clear frontrunner. You have Sally Hawkins for The Shape Of Water and Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri out in front. Then names like Margot Robbie for I, Tonya, Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird,...

Filmotomy
10/24/2017
The State Of LGBTQ+ Horror

As a gay male who loves watching horror movies, there is one thing that keeps occurring to me. I've noticed that there aren't many horror movies centering around LGBTQ+ people which is not shocking, given the state of queer characters in all genres, yet it is rather unfortunate.

Filmotomy
09/04/2017
Directors' Weekend Catch-Up: The Beguiled

Sofia Coppola's latest feature, The Beguiled, carries the theme of loneliness, which was present in her previous work like The Virgin Suicides and Lost In Translation, due to the physical isolation that the main characters feel. However, what makes The Beguiled far different from those two films is how it serves as a pastiche of...

The Film Scoop Podcast

The Film Scoop

Medium
10/08/2017
The Biggest Question Marks In This Year's Oscar Race

Even though it is October, we STILL have no clear frontrunner in the Best Picture race. Even after Telluride, Toronto, and the Venice Film Festival have taken place, there is still no one film ahead of the rest.

Medium
09/30/2017
"Battle Of The Sexes" Is Both Triumphant And Topical With A Winning Emma Stone Performance

A driven woman advocating for feminism against a male chauvinistic pig? Sounds a lot like the 2016 Presidential election where Hillary Clinton competed against Donald Trump. But it also sounds like the plot of Battle Of The Sexes which manages to capture our current political zeitgeist yet thanks to its "sports movie" appeal and an exemplary performance by its leading lady, it manages to be engaging from minute one to the closing credits.

Medium
09/22/2017
The State Of Female Directors In This Year's Oscar Race

Back when Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director at the 82nd Academy Awards for The Hurt Locker, she became the first woman in history to ever win the prestigious award. But even after breaking that glass ceiling, since then, no woman has been nominated for Best Director.

Medium
09/12/2017
Regarding The "Call Me By Your Name" Age Gap - The Film Scoop - Medium

So the LGBTQ romance Call Me By Your Name is shaping up to be a major awards contender and at a recent screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, it received a rapturous standing ovation once the film ended. It also has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Medium
08/23/2017
Going Through The Exciting Best Actress Race - The Film Scoop - Medium

Much like the last two years, the Best Actress category looks like it'll be super competitive as we have an exciting crop of competitors ranging from previously rewarded veterans to those still waiting for moment on the Oscar stage to potential new discoveries.

Medium
08/21/2017
"The Hitman's Bodyguard" Shoots Down "Logan Lucky" To Open At #1

In what was a rather ho-hum moviegoing weekend, The Hitman's Bodyguard starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson managed to emerge victorious with about a $21 million opening, overcoming a mixed-to-negative 39% Rotten Tomatoes rating in the process.

Medium
07/20/2017
Regarding The Recent "Doctor Who" Casting Backlash - The Film Scoop - Medium

As you probably heard, British actress Jodie Whittaker will be the thirteenth person to play the iconic paranormal investigator known as Doctor Who and will be the first woman overall. Plenty were pleased by this rather progressive choice. But unfortunately, not everybody was on board with it.

Medium
07/11/2017
"The Big Sick" Is The Best Romantic Comedy In Years

The Big Sick, an autobiography on the real life romance between co-writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, is both a telling of a true story and a reinvigoration of a genre that has over the years become a parody of itself. Mainly because it felt so real.

Medium
06/22/2017
Why I Fear For The Future Of "Star Wars" - The Film Scoop - Medium

So in case you haven't heard, Phil Lord and Chris Miller were just fired from directing the Han Solo prequel for Star Wars due to creative differences with producer Kathleen Kennedy despite there being reportedly three weeks of filming left. This isn't the first time that a Star Wars film has had a troubled production.

Medium
06/21/2017
How "Rough Night" Is Progressive In Terms Of LGBTQ+ Inclusion

Warning: Minor spoilers ahead So even though I did a spoiler-free review of Rough Night, there was something about it I wanted to touch upon regardless that the trailers didn't reveal. So early on, it is revealed that the characters of Frankie (Ilana Glazer) and Blair (Zoe Kravitz) were in a relationship when they were in college.

Southern News

SOUTHERN NEWS
04/29/2016
'Ghost In The Shell' whitewashing controversy

Matthew St. Clair - Special to the Southern News When the first still of the film adaptation of the Japanese manga "Ghost In The Shell" that featured Scarlett Johansson in costume was released, the film started trending on Twitter. But for the wrong reasons because Johansson, a white actress, is playing a character that is Japanese....

SOUTHERN NEWS
04/04/2016
Movie Review: 'Zootopia'

Matt St. Clair - Special to the Southern News Fresh off of winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature with "Inside Out," Disney has delivered a masterful animated film that may rival "Inside Out" for the title of the best Disney film in years with "Zootopia."

SCSU TV News

SCSU TV: Film Guy Reviews

Film Guy Reviews

Film Guy Reviews
11/04/2016
"The Handmaiden" Is A Feast For The Cinematic Eye

After delivering his English language debut, the Hitchcockian thriller Stoker, Park Chan Wook returns to his native South Korean tongue to deliver one of the most thrilling experiences one will ever see this year.

Film Guy Reviews
10/25/2015
Topic Of The Day: Are Academy Voters Feeling A Genre-Packed Year?

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Topic Of The Day. For today's topic, since we are in the midst of awards season, I figured I'd delve into something that really struck me. As I've discussed before in my blog, and others have pointed out, there is one genre that the AMPAS has had a rocky relationship with over the years: sci-fi.

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