The Montreal-born filmmaker behind Dallas Buyers Club, which won Oscars for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, and Wild, which scored nominations for Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, also scored Emmys and Emmy nominations for piloting the HBO limited series Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, passed away in Quebec City at age 58.
Tributes last night and this morning came from those who worked with him including Witherspoon, who starred in Wild and Big Little Lies. The Canadian film community also has responded in shock; Vallée’s first big feature after starting out as a music video director was his semi-autobiographical C.R.A.Z.Y., which played the Toronto Film Festival.
TIFF was a favorite home to his films, as the fest’s CEO Cameron Bailey noted last night: Vallée is the only filmmaker to have films open the festival (Demolition in 2015) and close it (The Young Victoria in 2009).
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also weighed in this morning, saying in part that Vallée’s “passion for filmmaking and storytelling was unmatched – so too was his talent.”
Check back as more reactions come in.
My heart is broken. My friend. I love you. https://t.co/dvh63E8K7I
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) December 27, 2021
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies star:
“It’s hard to imagine someone as vital, energetic and present as Jean-Marc being gone. I’m shattered. He was at the center of my creative universe and I can’t overstate his significance to me. Jean-Marc was not only responsible for some of the most rewarding professional experiences of my career, but his friendship, kindness and love were an inspiring force I will carry with me. I will always cherish those nights filming above the crashing waves of Big Sur…it doesn’t get better than that. I am forever grateful for my time shared with this extraordinary human. Forever Jean Marc.”
— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) December 27, 2021
Message from Denis Villeneuve to his late friend Jean-Marc Vallée:
qu’est-ce qui t’as pris de partir si tôt?
how must I forget these lonesome tears in my eyes?
comme tu m’as déjà dit: go out there and shine, crazy diamond!
je t’aime mon ami.
— Tanya Lapointe (@TanyaLapointe) December 27, 2021
Shailene Woodley, who starred in Big Little Lies, shared a photo of her Instagram Story of the director cooking. “I am in shock. Complete and utter shock,” she said. “My f—— god death is the worst,” adding, “But I guess somehow I know you will turn it into a grand adventure … one for the books. One I can’t wait to read & to watch when my time comes.”
Jean-Marc Vallée’s passion for filmmaking and storytelling was unmatched – so too was his talent. Through his work and with his art, he left a mark in Quebec, across Canada, and around the world. My thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans as they mourn his sudden passing.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 27, 2021
“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.”
Can’t believe it. Jean-Marc Vallée was a prodigious talent, and the only filmmaker to both open (DEMOLITION) and close (THE YOUNG VICTORIA) the Toronto International Film Festival. I’ll miss his fire. https://t.co/MCrHJQJvGg
— Cameron Bailey (@cameron_tiff) December 27, 2021
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of renowned Quebecois filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée. Vallée was an empathetic and generous visionary in television and film. His work inspired the way we tell stories in Canada and across the world. Our condolences to his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/hR5HJ3htuM
— Telefilm Canada (@Telefilm_Canada) December 27, 2021
We are so incredibly shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Jean-Marc Vallée. His phenomenal talent and extraordinary vision will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this very sad time. pic.twitter.com/b7OsDP5ix6
— The Canadian Academy (@TheCdnAcademy) December 27, 2021
“Jean-Marc Vallée’s passion for his work is equally matched by the care and consideration he showed to everyone he collaborated with. We are honored to have worked with him as a producing partner and as a friend. On behalf of our colleagues, our productions, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his sons, family, Nathan Ross and the entire Crazyrose team.”
We are saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Jean-Marc Vallée. He left an indelible mark on the entire “Sharp Objects” team, and we are all grateful for the opportunity we had to collaborate with him. RIP.
— Blumhouse (@blumhouse) December 27, 2021
— Jon Cassar (@joncassar) December 27, 2021
— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) December 27, 2021
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) December 27, 2021
Huge loss for the Canadian film industry. The sudden death of filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée leaves us speechless. His colossal work is a precious and inspiring legacy. pic.twitter.com/O5qF16M5KY
— Sén. René Cormier (@SenCormier) December 27, 2021
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