Jean-Marc Valle is a French-Canadian director. Despite being in the industry for more than two decades, Valle’s short, but significant filmography is an indicator towards the quality of his work. His first feature film, ‘Black List’, which was edited and directed by him, earned critical praise and threw him into the global spotlight. His later works have dealt with real-life trauma with a hardened sense of truth and reality.
The director won widespread acclaim for his latest effort on television, the miniseries ‘Big Little Lies’. The series focused on the issue of domestic abuse and sexual assault and continued Valle’s late-found passion for contemporary issues of importance. Here’s the list of top Jean-Marc Valle movies and TV shows. Happy reading!
8. Cafe De Flore (2011)
‘Cafe De Flores’ is a complex and intricate story about reincarnation and relationship between the individual and the society. The film explores the social mores binding open relationships in two periods; 21st century Montreal and 20th century Paris. The film’s core is averse to grandiose preparations and instead relies more on the visceral sexuality and maturity of the story and the performances of its actors. While the film does feel a bit drawn out and ‘out-there’, it still manages to be impactful and resonant with its original motivations of relationships and its complexities.
7. The Young Victoria (2009)
Emily Blunt is just as talented as any other actress on the block. And she has the performances to go with it too. Her recent triumph with ‘A Quiet Place’ has cemented her position as a versatile actress with a penchant for taking on challenging roles. ‘The Young Victoria’ sees her assume the titular role of Queen Victoria in her younger days. The period that it is set in is vivaciously resuscitated by Academy-winner costume designer Sandy Powell and on-location shooting. Valle’s easy tempo allows the characters and narrative to take precedence and gradually establish a reciprocative relationship with the audience. The only drawback would be its inability to be historically accurate, with many critics ruing the remiss technicalities.
6. Black List (1995)
‘Black List’, Valle’s directorial debut, was nominated for sixteen genie awards. The thriller film coalesced on Gabriella, a grief-stricken prostitute, whose relations with a judge put him into trouble. She comes up with a list of such judges and politicians, whom she entrusts with the new presiding judge. The news spills and endangers the life of the two determined to take down the corrupt syndicate of public servants. ‘Black List’s raw and emotionally charged tone might be a bit overwhelming and certainly carries its imperfections with it. But the underlying themes that drive the narrative make for an engaging story and immersive narrative to produce a taut, nervy thriller.
5. Demolition (2015)
‘Demolition’s expansive use of music is reminiscent of Valle’s previous effort, ‘Crazy’. The beats in the background set the mood and tone for the characters, the behavior of whom dictates the pace of the movie. It starts out fresh and stylish with Dave and Julia, a happy couple, until tragedy strikes and the two end up in a car crash. While the latter doesn’t survive the crash, much to the dismay of her parents, Dave does, again, similar feelings arouse in her parents. Dave, emotionally shocked by the incident, gets aggravated when the vending machine doesn’t return his command and writes to customer service. That sparks a new chapter in his life with a single mom, whom he personally pursues, and her homosexual son, who is confused about his homosexuality. ‘Demolition’ marks a distinct line between cinematic bravado and real-life banality. The intricate and keen observation of normal life and things dysfunctional around us amounts for a coping mechanism for Dave, who is brilliantly played by Gyllenhaal in yet another astounding performance.
4. Wild (2014)
‘Wild’ is a celebration of Cheryl Strayed’s incredible journey through the Pacific Crest Trail. Trying circumstances in her life pushed her to leave the normalized and a way of life that was accustomed to her. Her closeness with her mom Bobbi is something she suppresses inside and finally lets out in the last leg of her journey, when a young boy sings a lullaby to her. Witherspoon’s battle-hardened and veiled melancholic turn as Cheryl makes ‘Wild’ a hugely impactful and vibrant experience, holding the power to prove a potentially enriching experience for the viewer.
3. C.R.A.Z.Y (2005)
Teenager Zachary Beaulieu is emotionally addled about his sexuality and is at loggerheads with his Canadian-Catholic upbringing which alienates his father Gervais and bewilders his mother Laurianne. He coerces his body to like girls and also has to cope with his older brothers, who don’t make his life any easier. His indecisiveness finally comes to a halt with a resounding decision that tests his relationship with his family. Valle’s supreme hold over music and narrative is abundantly lucid in the film and elevates it into a must watch. Performances enthused with the right balance of rebel, desire, and emotion lit up the screen and breathe an excitable and alluring life into the film.
2. Big Little Lies (2017-)
‘Big Little Lies’ is probably the most intense and socially aware series on television in recent times. Boasting of names like Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Shailene Woodley, the tv series focused on issues like domestic abuse, rape, and sexual misconduct by minors, structured around an ongoing investigation of the murder of someone at the children’s school. The narrative sifted from the present investigation to flashbacks in the past, introducing us to the lives of the titular women and their troubled, seemingly perfect lives. Blissful direction and supervision of the story, and fueled by splendid performances by an envious ensemble, ‘Big Little Lies’ is worthy of every praise it has been accorded and season two just couldn’t come any quicker.
1. Dallas Buyers Club (2014)
‘Dallas Buyers Club’ tells the true story of HIV-inflicted Ron Woodroof in the ’80s when the disease was subject to mythization and under-research. His painful battle against AIDS is worsened by the FDA-approved AZT, which he is prompted to take by treating Dr. Saks. He learns of another drug, Peptide T, which improves his health. He imports the drug from Mexico and joins hands with Rayon, a trans-woman, whom he reluctantly partners up in hopes of getting more patients. They together start the Dallas Buyers Club for similar patients. Valle’s true to life story draws a worthy match for its incredible original source. Woodroof’s and many other patients’ misery and helplessness against the disease is reflected with disconcerting unease in the movie and evokes a great emotional introspection.
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