Canadian director and producer Jean-Marc Vallée dead at 58

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Quebecois director and producer Jean-Marc Vallée, who won an Emmy for directing the hit HBO series “Big Little Lies” and whose 2013 drama “Dallas Buyers Club” earned multiple Oscar nominations, has died.

He was 58.

His representative Bumble Ward said Sunday that Vallée died suddenly in his cabin outside Quebec City over the weekend.

Vallée was acclaimed for his naturalistic approach to filmmaking, directing stars including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal over the past decade.

He directed Emily Blunt in 2009’s “The Young Victoria” and became a sought-after name in Hollywood after “Dallas Buyers Club,” featuring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, earned six Academy Awards nominations, including best picture.

Producing partner Nathan Ross said in a statement that Vallée “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,” the statement said. “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.”

Vallée was born in Montreal and studied filmmaking at the Collège Ahuntsic and the Université du Québec à Montréal.

His breakout feature film was “C.R.A.Z.Y.” which he wrote, directed and co-produced in 2005. The coming-of-age Quebec drama led to a string of high-profile projects.

Vallée received the Directors Guild of America Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in 2017 for the HBO Limited Series “Big Little Lies,” which he also executive produced. The series won eight Emmys and four Golden Globes in total.

He also directed and executive produced the HBO limited series “Sharp Objects“ which was nominated for eight Emmys.

Cameron Bailey, CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival, called Vallée a “prodigious talent” on Twitter.

Bailey said Vallée was the only filmmaker to both open TIFF, with “Demolition” in 2015 and close the festival, with “The Young Victoria” in 2009.

“I’ll miss his fire,” Bailey said in the tweet.

Canadian actor Jay Baruchel said on Twitter that Vallée was “a profoundly gifted artist whose passions and efforts have advanced the medium of cinema.”

Vallée is survived by his sons, Alex and Émile, and siblings Marie-Josée Vallée, Stéphane Tousignant and Gérald Vallée.

— With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2021.





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