Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee dies at 58

The Canadian filmmaker was nominated for an Oscar for the 2013 movie


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Published: Mon 27 Dec 2021, 11:29 PM

Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee has died at age 58, his publicist announced, drawing expressions of shock Monday throughout an industry that viewed him as a creative, pioneering force.

“Rest In Peace, Jean-Marc Vallee. The world is far less interesting without you in it,” Hive Communication Collective wrote on Instagram.

The Quebecois producer and director was Oscar-nominated for 'Dallas Buyers Club' in 2013, for which actors Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both took home Academy Awards.

In recent years, he has drawn acclaim for his work on HBO shows 'Big Little Lies', for which he won an Emmy award, and 'Sharp Objects'.

Vallee’s publicist announced the death late Sunday. US media reported that he died suddenly in his cabin near Quebec City over the weekend.

The cause was not immediately known.

HBO said it was “shocked at the news of his sudden death.”

“Jean-Marc Vallee was a brilliant, fiercely dedicated filmmaker,” the company said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Jean-Marc stood for creativity, authenticity and trying things differently,” Vallee’s producing partner Nathan Ross said in a statement shared with US media.

“The maestro will sorely be missed but it comforts knowing his beautiful style and impactful work he shared with the world will live on.”

His other notable works included the Oscar-winning 2009 film “'he Young Victoria' starring Emily Blunt and 'Wild' in 2014, for which Reese Witherspoon earned an Oscar nomination.

The latter — based on author Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir — premiered at the Toronto film festival, where Vallee slammed reviews that had mistakenly classified it.

Vallee embraced natural lighting and scorned rehearsals to create films that felt “real and authentic,” he said in a 2018 interview released by HBO.

He sought to show equally humanity’s flaws, transforming true stories into touching dramas, often with strong female leads.

Toronto film festival boss Cameron Bailey tweeted Monday that Vallee was “a prodigious talent” and the first to both open (“Demolition”) and close (“The Young Victoria”) North America’s largest film festival.

“I’ll miss his fire,” he said.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault said news of Vallee’s passing was “tragic” and that his films had moved him deeply. “He was extremely kind,” he added.

Offering condolences to Vallee’s friends and family on behalf of the Canadian government, Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez said Vallee “made his mark in cinema not just in Quebec but around the world.

“His films have made us laugh, cry, think and have opened up our imagination.”

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