Jean-Marc Vallée Has Died: Acclaimed ‘Dallas Buyers Club,’ ‘Big Little Lies’ & ‘Sharp Objects’ Director Gone at 58

Jean-Marc Vallée, the widely acclaimed director, writer, editor, and producer, has sadly died at the age of 58.

The award-winning Canadian helmer reportedly passed away, suddenly, at his cabin located outside Quebec City, Canada. No details as to cause of death were immediately shared. As reported by Deadline, “his family and close advisors are in shock.”

Said Nathan Ross, Vallée’s longtime producing partner: “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.”

Vallée’s early career saw him direct a number of music videos in the ’80s, followed by a couple of short films and his feature directorial debut in the 90s. His first film as director was ’95 thriller Black List (aka Liste Noire), a film that would do quite well in Quebec and earn a number of nominations at Canada’s Genie Awards. It was his 2005 film, coming-of-age dramedy C.R.A.Z.Y., that would arguably be the film to really spark up his career. The film earned wide acclaim and remains one of Quebec’s most successful films. It also got the attention of Graham King and Martin Scorsese, who hired Vallée to direct Emily Blunt-starring period drama The Young Victoria in 2009.

Following 2011 Canadian drama Café de Flore, which he wrote, directed, and edited, Vallée would direct Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscar wins with 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club. Vallée would also earn an Oscar nomination for editing the film with Martin Pensa.

Vallée followed Dallas Buyers Club up with 2014 drama Wild, which earned Oscar nominations for Reese Witherspoon as Best Actress and Laura Dern as Best Supporting Actress. In 2015, he directed Gyllenhaal in the dramedy Demolition, which would receive mixed reviews and become Vallée’s final film as director.

Over the next few years, Vallée placed his sights on television, earning acclaim and award recognition for high-profile HBO projects Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects. Vallée was awarded a Primetime Emmy Award as director for Big Little Lies, which he also exec produced and edited.

Reads a statement by HBO: “Jean-Marc Vallée was a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker, a truly phenomenal talent who infused every scene with a deeply visceral, emotional truth. 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.”

Rest in Peace, Jean-Marc Vallée. You’ve left much too soon.

Here’s a look at The Hollywood Reporter’s TV Directors Roundtable from 2019, where Vallée joined a variety of talent, including Patty Jenkins and Adam McKay, to discuss working on television…

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About Guillermo Troncoso

Guillermo is the Manager and Chief Editor of Screen Realm. He has years of experience in the media space - from network television to radio. When not at a local Sydney cinema, you can bet he's working hard on Screen Realm and attempting to catch up on a never-ending list of movies and shows.

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