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Jean-Marc Vallée, ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ director dies at 58.

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Jean-Marc Vallee, best known for directing films such as Dallas Buyers Club and Wild, along with the HBO series Big Little Lies, died at the age of 58. His longtime producing partner Nathan Ross confirmed his death in a statement with The Hollywood Reporter. The filmmaker died suddenly over the weekend in his cabin near Quebec City, Canada, and the cause of death was not immediately disclosed. 

The director’s death has come as a shock to many. The statement released by Nathan Ross to The Hollywood Reporter read, “Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently. He was a true artist and a generous, loving guy. Everyone who worked with him couldn’t help but see the talent and vision he possessed. He was a friend, creative partner and an older brother to me. The maestro will sorely be missed but it comforts knowing his beautiful style and impactful work he shared with the world will live on.”

The director got his start working on Canadian music videos and short subjects, before making his feature debut with the French-language film “Liste noire,” also known by its English title “Black List”, which earned nine nominations for Canada’s Genie Awards, while his 2005 coming-of-age movie C.R.A.Z.Y won 11 Genies.

His 2009 film The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt as British monarch Queen Victoria, earned three Academy Award nominations including a win for best costume design.

Jean-Marc Vallée
Jean-Marc Vallée dies at 58.

His breakthrough film, however, was ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ released in 2013, which was based on the true story of an AIDS patient who becomes a distributor of experimental treatments. The film gained him Oscar recognition as he bagged a nomination for Best Editing whereas the film scored two major wins for actors Matthew McConnaughey and Jared Leto in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories.

It was followed with Wild, which starred Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. The film, an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, was nominated for three Oscars. Vallee reunited with Witherspoon and Dern in the critically acclaimed HBO series Big Little Lies (2017), penned by David E Kelley based on Liane Moriarty’s novel of the same name.

Vallee directed and executive produced the show, which earned him an Emmy in direction on the highly lauded first season which also starred Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Alexander Skarsgard, among other A-listers.

Vallée later directed and executive produced the 2018 limited series Sharp Objects, also for HBO. Starring Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson, the show was nominated for eight Emmys. Vallée and Ross had signed a new development deal with HBO in April, according to Deadline.  Apparently titled Gorilla and the Bird, the series was about a public defender who suffers a sudden psychotic break. This was based on a memoir by Zack McDermott.

“Jean-Marc Vallée was a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker, a truly phenomenal talent who infused every scene with a deeply visceral, emotional truth,” said a statement released by HBO. “He was also a hugely caring man who invested his whole self alongside every actor he directed. We are shocked at the news of his sudden death, and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to his sons, Alex and Émile, his extended family, and his longtime producing partner, Nathan Ross.”

Besides sons Alex and Emile, Vallee is survived by siblings Marie-Josee Vallee, Stephane Tousignant and Gerald Vallee.

Also Read: Don’t Look Up Review: A superb satire on climate change.

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