Jean-Marc Vallée, 58, died unexpectedly at his cottage outside of Quebec City. For Big Little Lies, the Canadian writer, director, editor, and producer won Emmys and a D.G.A. Award, and he was nominated for an Oscar for directing Dallas Buyers Club and bagged Oscars for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.
Vallée was from Montreal, Quebec, and began making short films before making his feature debut, Black List, in 1995. C.R.A.Z.Y. was his breakout film, winning four Genie Awards in Canada, including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director for Vallée.
Following the success of The Young Victoria and Cafe de Flore, Vallée found his stride with Dallas Buyers Club. Based on the actual story of Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician stricken with AIDS and given only one month to live. To give himself and others suffering from AIDS a chance at a longer life, the scrappy Woodroof imported alternative treatments and medicines that were not licensed in the United States. This was a promising idea that fell through before Vallée committed. The picture, which starred McConaughey, Leto, and Jennifer Garner and was released in 2013, became a critical darling. Both McConaughey and Leto received Golden Globe nominations, which they followed up with Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, with Vallée also obtaining an Oscar nod for Best Film Editing under his identity, John Mac McMurphy.
He then adapted Cheryl Strayed’s biography Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. The film got nominated for three Academy Awards.
Then Vallée shifted his focus to long-form television programs, and the results were momentous.
In a statement, HBO stated, “Jean-Marc Vallée was a bright, fiercely driven director, a genuinely great artist who filled every scene with a very visceral, emotional reality.” “He was also a really loving man who put his entire self into every performer he directed.” We are devastated by the news of his untimely passing, and we express our sincere condolences to his sons, Alex and Émile, as well as his extended family and longstanding producing partner, Nathan Ross.”