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Jean-Marc Vallée, ‘C.R.A.Z.Y.’ and ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ Director, Dies at 58

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 17: Director Jean-Marc Vallee accepts Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special for "Big Little Lies" onstage during the 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Acclaimed Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée has died at age 58 on Christmas Day, Deadline has reported. The cause of death was not reported at first, but TVA Nouvelles has learned that the director died of a sudden cardiac arrest and was found dead by his friends at a residence in Berthier-Sur-Mer, Québec.

The filmmaker rose to stardom with the release of C.R.A.Z.Y., a 2005 coming-of-age drama starring Marc-André Grondin, Michel Côté, and Danielle Proulx, winning Best Picture at the 2006 Genie Awards and 2006 Iris Awards (known at the time as the Jutra Awards). The film is widely considered to be one of the greatest Canadian films ever made and was ranked by critics of the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015 as the eighth greatest Canadian film of all time.

The success of C.R.A.Z.Y. made Vallée one of the first French-Canadian directors to successfully transition to Hollywood with the release of 2009’s The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, and Paul Bettany. He then became the first Québec filmmaker to have a film nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Picture with 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club, which led to Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto winning Oscars for Best Actor and Supporting Actor respectively.

Vallée also directed Wild, Demolition, and the HBO series Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, which led him to more international acclaim. In a statement, HBO stated that “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.”

Tributes poured over social media, with Québec Premier François Legault calling the news “tragic” and Vallée an “exceptional artist”, while Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez thanked Vallée’s contribution to cinema around the world:

François Legault on Twitter: “Quelle nouvelle tragique.Jean-Marc Vallée m’a ému de C.R.A.Z.Y. à Big Little Lies.Il était d’une extrême gentillesse.Mes condoléances à tous les proches de cet artiste exceptionnel. pic.twitter.com/VizV7GKC1e / Twitter”

Quelle nouvelle tragique.Jean-Marc Vallée m’a ému de C.R.A.Z.Y. à Big Little Lies.Il était d’une extrême gentillesse.Mes condoléances à tous les proches de cet artiste exceptionnel. pic.twitter.com/VizV7GKC1e

Translation: What tragic news. Jean-Marc Vallée moved me from C. R. A. Z. Y. to Big Little Lies. He was extremely kind. My condolences to all those close to this exceptional artist.

Pablo Rodriguez on Twitter: “Very sad news this morning. Jean-Marc Vallée 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. I want to offer my deepest condolences to his family and friends. https://t.co/tnESWp0ANo / Twitter”

Very sad news this morning. Jean-Marc Vallée 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. I want to offer my deepest condolences to his family and friends. https://t.co/tnESWp0ANo

Cinémas Guzzo CEO Vincenzo Guzzo called the news “a loss for words”, and that “our industry is in mourning”, while Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante stated that the world lost “a great filmmaker”.

Vincenzo Guzzo “MrSunshine” on Twitter: “Notre industrie est en deuil… Nous avons perdu un de nos grands, soudainement. Je suis sans mot ce matin face à cette terrible nouvelle… Mes plus sincères sympathies à ses proches. Mes pensées et prières vous accompagnent. https://t.co/3R8RJN8LaA @CinemasGuzzo @GuzzoLesFilms / Twitter”

Notre industrie est en deuil… Nous avons perdu un de nos grands, soudainement. Je suis sans mot ce matin face à cette terrible nouvelle… Mes plus sincères sympathies à ses proches. Mes pensées et prières vous accompagnent. https://t.co/3R8RJN8LaA @CinemasGuzzo @GuzzoLesFilms

Translation: Our industry is in mourning… We have lost one of our greats, suddenly. I am at a loss for words this morning in the face of this terrible news … My most sincere sympathies to those close to him. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Valérie Plante on Twitter: “Nous perdons un grand cinéaste. Jean-Marc Vallée a créé des œuvres que j’ai adorées, et qui ont marqué le Québec en entier. Mes plus sincères sympathies à sa famille et ses proches. #polmtl / Twitter”

Nous perdons un grand cinéaste. Jean-Marc Vallée a créé des œuvres que j’ai adorées, et qui ont marqué le Québec en entier. Mes plus sincères sympathies à sa famille et ses proches. #polmtl

Translation: We have lost a great filmmaker. Jean-Marc Vallée has created works that I adored, and which have marked Quebec as a whole. My most sincere sympathies to his family and loved ones.

The story may be updated as more information comes along.

Source: Deadline, TVA Nouvelles

Maxance Vincent is a freelance film and TV critic, and a recent graduate of a BFA in Film Studies at the Université de Montréal. He is currently finishing a specialization in Video Game Studies, focusing on the psychological effects regarding the critical discourse on violent video games.

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Written by Maxance Vincent

Maxance Vincent is a freelance film and TV critic, and a recent graduate of a BFA in Film Studies at the Université de Montréal. He is currently finishing a specialization in Video Game Studies, focusing on the psychological effects regarding the critical discourse on violent video games.

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