Jean-Marc Vallée

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Jean-Marc Vallée
Jean-Marc Vallée, Genie Awards 2012.jpg
Vallée at the 32nd Genie Awards, 2012
Born (1963-03-09) March 9, 1963 (age 55)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Alma materUniversité de Montréal
OccupationDirector, editor, producer
Years active1991–present

Jean-Marc Vallée, OC (born March 9, 1963) is a Canadian film director, producer, and film editor. After studying film at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Vallée went on to make a number of critically acclaimed short films, including Stéréotypes (1991), Les Fleurs magiques (1995), and Les Mots magiques (1998).

His debut feature, Black List (1995), was nominated for nine Genie Awards, including nods for Vallée's direction and editing. His fourth feature film, C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005), received further critical acclaim and was a financial success. Vallée's followup, The Young Victoria (2009), garnered strong reviews and received three Academy Award nominations, while his sixth film, Café de Flore (2011), was the most nominated film at the 32nd Genie Awards. Vallée's next film, Dallas Buyers Club, was released in 2013 to critical acclaim and earned him an Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Film Editing. He next directed Wild (2014). Vallée's next film, Demolition (2015), starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, and opened the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015.[1] In 2017, he directed and executive-produced the acclaimed HBO series Big Little Lies, winning a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special. In 2018, he directed and executive produced the acclaimed HBO miniseries Sharp Objects.

Early life[edit]

Vallée was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec.[2] He studied filmmaking at the Collège Ahuntsic and the Université de Montréal.[2]


Early work[edit]

In the 1990s, Vallée produced a number of short films that aroused considerable critical interest.[3] In 1991, Stereotypes, a fantastique comedy inspired by some American classic films, received numerous prizes at several events, including Best Promising Director for Vallée at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois.[4]

Vallée later adopted a more personal and autobiographical tone with Les Fleurs magiques (1995) and Les Mots magiques (1998), awarded respectively Best Short Film at the 16th Genie Awards and the 1st Jutra Awards, in which the director explored the relationship between father and son.[3]

Vallée made his feature-length debut in 1995 with Liste noire (Black List), which became the highest-grossing film in Quebec that year and received nine Genie Award notimations, including Best Motion Picture and Best Achievement in Direction.[5] In the wake of this success, Vallée moved to Los Angeles where he directed Los Locos (1998), a Western film written by and starring Mario Van Peebles, and Loser Love (1999).[5] After these two low-budget productions, he directed two episodes of the television series The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne (2000).


During the mid-1990s, Vallée was preparing C.R.A.Z.Y. from a screenplay inspired by his own youth and that of his co-writer, François Boulay. Vallée wanted to shoot the film in the United States, but his friend Michel Côté, who also starred in Black List, convinced him to shoot in Quebec.[2] After ten years in production, C.R.A.Z.Y. was finally released in 2005 and became one of the most successful films in Quebec history, both financially and critically.[6]

It tells the story of Zachary Beaulieu, a young man dealing with homophobia and heterosexism while growing up with four brothers and a conservative father in 1960s and 1970s Quebec. The role of Zachary Beaulieu was portrayed by Marc-André Grondin, while Michel Côté and Danielle Proulx starred as Zachary's parents. C.R.A.Z.Y. had its world premiere at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and was awarded Best Canadian Feature Film.[7] It received unanimous praise from film critics, with the film aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes, giving the film a 100% "Certified Fresh" rating, based on reviews from 17 critics.[8] It received several accolades, including eleven Genie Awards and thirteen Jutra Awards.[7] C.R.A.Z.Y. was also selected as Canada's official submission for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[9]

The Young Victoria[edit]

After the success of C.R.A.Z.Y., Graham King and Martin Scorsese hired Jean-Marc Vallée to direct the period drama The Young Victoria.[10] Written by Julian Fellowes, the film is based on the early life and reign of Queen Victoria, and her marriage to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The film stars Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, and Jim Broadbent among a large ensemble cast. Critical reception was generally positive and the film was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning the 2009 Academy Award for Best Costume Design.[11]

Café de Flore[edit]

In 2011, Vallée wrote, directed, and edited Café de Flore, a love story which connects a man and woman living in present-day Montreal with a mother and her son in 1960s Paris.[12] The film starred French popstar Vanessa Paradis and Québécois actors Kevin Parent, Hélène Florent, and Evelyne Brochu. It was received generally positive reviews from Canadian film critics and garnered thirteen nominations at the 32nd Genie Awards.[13] American reviews were more mixed; Variety's Boyd van Hoeij salutes the film's casting, but deems Café de Flore unoriginal, noting that "Vallée has taken what made C.R.A.Z.Y so successful, and simply tried to replicate it on a slightly larger scale. [Occasionally] similarities between the films... are so striking it almost feels like Vallée's ripping himself off".[14]

Dallas Buyers Club[edit]

Vallée's next film, Dallas Buyers Club, starred Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Garner.[15] The film is based on the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live, who began smuggling alternative medicine into the United States to help himself and other AIDS patients.

The film was released in 2013 to critical acclaim, earning Matthew McConaughey the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and Jared Leto a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, and won the awards for Best Actor for McConaughey, and Best Supporting Actor for Leto, repeating the Golden Globes. Vallée also received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing under his alias, John Mac McMurphy.[16]


Vallée's film Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, premiered on August 29, 2014 at the Telluride Film Festival, and was also featured at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8 and the San Diego Film Festival on September 24.[17] It was released in North America on December 5, 2014.[18]

In May 2015, Vallée received the National Arts Centre Award, a companion award of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards, given to an artist in recognition of work of an extraordinary nature over the previous performance year.[19] The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Actress for Reese Witherspoon, and Best Supporting Actress for Laura Dern.[citation needed]

Big Little Lies[edit]

In 2017, he directed and executive-produced the acclaimed HBO miniseries Big Little Lies, winning a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special.

Personal life[edit]

Vallée has two children, Alex and Émile.[20]


Feature films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Editor Other Notes
1995 Black List Yes Yes
1997 Los Locos Yes Yes
1999 Loser Love Yes Yes
2005 C.R.A.Z.Y. Yes Yes Yes Actor, also co-producer
2009 The Young Victoria Yes
2011 Café de Flore Yes Yes Yes Yes Actor, also co-producer
2013 Dallas Buyers Club Yes Yes
2014 Wild Yes Yes
2015 Demolition Yes Yes

Short films[edit]

Year Title Director Writer Editor Other Notes
1991 Stéréotypes Yes Yes
1995 Les Fleurs magiques Yes Yes Yes
1998 Les Mots magiques Yes Yes
2012 Little Pig Yes Executive producer


Year Title Director Writer Editor Other Notes
2017 Big Little Lies Yes Yes Yes TV miniseries; also executive producer
2018 Sharp Objects Yes Yes Yes TV miniseries; also executive producer


Critical and commercial reception to films Vallée has directed as of April 19, 2015.

Film Rotten Tomatoes[21] Metacritic[22] Budget Box office[23]
C.R.A.Z.Y. 100% (17 reviews) 81 (5 reviews) N/A N/A
The Young Victoria 76% (145 reviews) 64 (29 reviews) $35 million $27.4 million
Café de Flore 63% (52 reviews) 53 (13 reviews) N/A N/A
Dallas Buyers Club 93% (228 reviews) 84 (47 reviews) $5 million $55.2 million
Wild 90% (222 reviews) 76 (47 reviews) $15 million $52.5 million
Demolition 52% (192 reviews) 49 (42 reviews) $10 million $14 million


  1. ^ "Demolition - Gala Presentations". TIFF. Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2015-08-15. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Jourdain, Alexandre. "Jean-Marc Vallée : Sa biographie". AlloCiné (in French). Tiger Global. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Czach, Liz. "Jean-Marc Vallée". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. Toronto International Film Festival. Archived from the original on February 22, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  4. ^ "Stéréotypes" (in French). GPA Films. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Jean-Marc Vallée" (in French). Télé-Québec. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  6. ^ Kelly, Brendan (March 20, 2006). "Quebec kudos just 'C.R.A.Z.Y.' for pic". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Jutra judges wild about C.R.A.Z.Y." Postmedia News. March 20, 2006. Archived from the original on June 22, 2015. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  8. ^ "C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  9. ^ "Hoping for Oscar Attention, A Trio of Foreign Language Titles Win Over Audiences". IndieWire. November 9, 2005. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  10. ^ Fox, Chloe (February 4, 2009). "The Young Victoria: we were amused". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  11. ^ Tschorn, Adam (March 7, 2010). "'Young Victoria' earns Sandy Powell a third Oscar for costume design". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  12. ^ "Café de Flore" at IMDb
  13. ^ Barnard, Linda (January 17, 2012). "'Café de Flore', 'A Dangerous Method' lead Genie Awards race". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on March 19, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  14. ^ van Hoeij, Boyd (2011). Cafe de Flore. Variety: Vol.424(6), pp. 83.
  15. ^ Kit, Borys (November 6, 2012). "Jared Leto Returning to Acting with 'Dallas Buyer's Club'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 27, 2012.
  16. ^ Lussier, Marc-André (February 25, 2014). "Jean-Marc Vallée aux Oscars alias John Mac McMurphy". La Presse. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  17. ^ McNary, Dave (August 29, 2014). "Reese Witherspoon's 'Wild' to Open San Diego Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
  18. ^ Sperling, Nicole (May 12, 2014). "Reese Witherspoon-starrer 'Wild' gets a release date". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  19. ^ "Jean-Marc Vallée biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards. Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved 20 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Jean-Marc Vallée Biography". IMDB.
  21. ^ "Jean-Marc Vallée". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  22. ^ "Jean-Marc Vallée". Metacritic. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  23. ^ "Jean-Marc Vallee Movie Box office". Retrieved April 19, 2015.

External links[edit]