Item 7, the producer of Jean-Marc Vallée’s breakout movie C.R.A.Z.Y., is at work on a documentary about the Dallas Buyers Club and Big Little Lies director, who died suddenly in December 2021 at the age of 58 years.
Marie-Julie Dallaire will direct Cut Print Thank You Bye, which has the support of and participation from the family of the late Canadian filmmaker — his sons Alex and Émile Vallée, and their mother, Chantal Cadieux.
Pierre Even will produce the feature-length doc that will use archives and original footage to recall the life of Vallée, who grew as a director in Quebec before breaking out in Hollywood with a string of studio films and TV hits.
“Jean-Marc and I became friends at the release of C.R.A.Z.Y. His sudden departure leaves me without words. Yet, I feel the need to express my love and gratitude to him loud and clear. Cut Print Thank You Bye will be my way of paying tribute to Jean-Marc, of keeping him alive, of mourning him, using our common language: cinema,” director Dallaire said in a statement.
Born in Montreal, Vallée broke into directing through music videos. His debut film feature, the 1995 thriller Black List, earned nine nominations for Canada’s Genie Awards, while his 2005 coming-of-age movie C.R.A.Z.Y. won 11 Genies. Emily Blunt starred as Britain’s Queen Victoria in his 2009 film The Young Victoria, which picked up three Oscar noms, including a win for best costume design.
The director went to the next level with 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club, the fact-based story of Ron Woodroof, who sold experimental drugs to AIDS patients. The emotional drama earned six Academy Award nominations, including best picture, and led to trips to the podium for stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto.
“Jean-Marc’s departure left a gaping hole in our lives. This great emptiness has brought together all those who knew him. Cut Print Thank You Bye is a work of sharing and memory, so that everyone has access to this great man of cinema, our friend Jean-Marc Vallée,” producer Even said in his own statement.
Vallée was known for his skilled handling of A-list talent, as with HBO’s star-studded adaptation of Big Little Lies, the David E. Kelley-penned project that Vallée directed and executive produced. Vallée earned an Emmy and a DGA Award for directing Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and the rest of the high-profile cast on the highly lauded show’s first season, which aired in 2017.
“Cinema is a ribbon of dreams, inspired by the desire to share the human experience of loving and being loved. Jean-Marc understood this…. Why make a film about JMV? Because we must not forget that we must dream, that we must love, that we must share. For those who follow us,” said Yves Bélanger, director of photography on Dallas Buyers Club, Wild, Demolition, Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies, who also initiated the project.