July 1, 2022

Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallée is dead

Quebec filmmaker who, like his contemporary and compatriot Denis Villeneuve, had found his way to Hollywood, Jean-Marc Vallée, director of feature films C.R.A.Z.Y, Dallas Buyers Club and Wild as well as series Big Little Lies and Wild, died suddenly in his cabin near Quebec City on December 25, his producer, Nathan Ross, announced. The cause of his death is not yet known.

Born March 9, 1963 in Montreal, Jean-Marc Vallée met with success from the start. After studying cinema at the University of Quebec, his first productions, music videos and short films attracted attention, winning trophies at the Genie Awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars) and Jutra (Quebec version of the Oscars) ceremonies. previous ones, renamed since). In 1995, his first feature film, Blacklist, A sardonic detective film, attracts not only the votes of professionals (Genie for best film, a multitude of awards in Quebec) but also the public. His next film, The crazy ones, is a western, written and performed by African-American author and actor Mario Van Peebles.

Triumph of “Dallas Buyers Club”

For a decade, Jean-Marc Vallée worked on the writing and production of C.R.A.Z.Y., A tale of autobiographical inspiration (the autobiography here being both that of the director and that of his co-writer, François Boulay), which depicts the torments of a gay teenager suffocated by a father invading Quebec in the 1970s. C.R.A.Z.Y. remains to this day one of the biggest successes of his country. In 2005, the year of its release, it ranked third at the box office behind Revenge of the Sith and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Spotted by the British producer Graham King, then collaborator of Martin Scorsese, the filmmaker is offered the screenplay of Victoria: the young years of a queen, in which Emily Blunt plays the title role. The film wins the Oscar for Best Costume Design.

The director then attempts a foray into France with Café de Flore (2011), which comes and goes between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Montreal. Despite the presence of Vanessa Paradis in the credits, this family drama does not appeal to the French public and its success remains purely Quebecois. This disappointment was erased two years later by the triumph of Dallas Buyers Club, which offers Matthew McConaughey the role of Ron Woodroff who, in the 1980s, organized in the Texan metropolis one of the first supply networks of antiretroviral drugs for HIV-positive people. The film won McConaughey an Oscar and won two more.

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