Jean-Marc Vallée

Jean-Marc Vallée OC (born March 9, 1963) is a Canadian filmmaker, film editor and screenwriter. After studying film at the Université de 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).

Jean-Marc Vallée
Jean-Marc Vallée, Genie Awards 2012.jpg
Vallée at the 2012 Genie Awards
Born (1963-03-09) March 9, 1963 (age 56)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Alma materCollège Ahuntsic
Université de Montréal
OccupationFilm director, editor, producer
Years active1991–present

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 films, the American dramas Dallas Buyers Club (2013) and Wild (2014) continued this acclaim and the former earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing.

Vallée ventured into television by executive producing and directing two projects for HBO, the drama series Big Little Lies (2017) and the thriller miniseries Sharp Objects (2018). For the former, he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special.

Early lifeEdit

Vallée was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec.[1] He studied filmmaking at the Collège Ahuntsic and the Université de Montréal.[1]


Early workEdit

In the 1990s, Vallée produced a number of short films that aroused considerable critical interest.[2] 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.[3]

Vallée later adopted a more personal and autobiographical tone with Magical Flowers (Les Fleurs magiques) (1995) and Magical Words (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.[2]

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.[4] 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).[4] 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.[1] 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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] It received several accolades, including eleven Genie Awards and thirteen Jutra Awards.[6] C.R.A.Z.Y. was also selected as Canada's official submission for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[8]

The Young VictoriaEdit

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.[9] 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.[10]

Café de FloreEdit

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.[11] 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.[12] 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".[13]

Dallas Buyers ClubEdit

Vallée's next film, Dallas Buyers Club, starred Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Garner.[14] 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.[15]


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.[16] It was released in North America on December 5, 2014.[17]

Vallée's next film, Demolition (2015), starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, and opened the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015.[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 LiesEdit

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 lifeEdit

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


Feature filmsEdit

Year Title Director Writer Producer Editor Notes
1995 Black List Yes No No Yes
1997 Los Locos Yes No No Yes
1999 Loser Love Yes No No Yes
2005 C.R.A.Z.Y. Yes Yes Yes No Also actor
2009 The Young Victoria Yes No No No
2011 Café de Flore Yes Yes Yes Yes Also actor
2013 Dallas Buyers Club Yes No No Yes
2014 Wild Yes No No Yes
2015 Demolition Yes No No Yes

Short filmsEdit

Year Title Director Writer Executive
1991 Stereotypes (Stéréotypes) Yes No No Yes
1995 Magical Flowers (Les Fleurs magiques) Yes Yes No Yes
1998 Magical Words (Les Mots magiques) Yes Yes No No
2012 Little Pig No No Yes No


Year Title Director Executive
Editor Notes
2017–present Big Little Lies Yes Yes Yes TV series
2018 Sharp Objects Yes Yes Yes TV miniseries


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