A filmmaker of rare sensibilities, a genuine “actor’s director” who helped Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto win Oscars, and after “Wild,” became Reese Witherspoon’s go-to filmmaker for her acclaimed cable series “Big Little Lies,” then “borrowed” by Amy Adams for “Sharp Objects,” Jean Marc Vallée has passed away suddenly, the apparent victim of a cold weather heart attack in rural Quebec.
He was just 58.
Vallée gained notice with the Canadian indie dramedy “C.R.A.Z.Y.” in the early 2000s, and became a marquee filmmaker with “The Young Victoria,” a glittering Emily Blunt star vehicle and bio-pic of Queen Victoria.
The Jake Gyllenhaal dramedy “Demolition” stands out among his credits, although I can’t see a film or series that Vallee had a hand in that wasn’t thought-provoking, challenging and very very good.
He nimbly transitioned to limited series work, the most popular form of filmed storytelling these days and the surest source of employment for directors, and had a couple of projects in the works at the time of his sudden demise, in a cabin outside of Montreal. He won an Emmy for directing “Big Little Lies” and was nominated for an Oscar for “Dallas Buyers Club.”
An awful thing, and a real loss to cinema.