Oscar History

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Aug 04 2015

Imaginary Couples: Villeneuve & Vallée

An unexpected treat from our neighboring country to the north anda hat tip to Kevin LaForestfor sharing it with us.

Two of Canada's greatest directors Jean-Marc Vallée (Wild) and Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) recently posed for the photographerOlivier Ciappa's anti-homophobia series which photographs heterosexual celebrities as gay couples.(For a long time I actually thought Vallée was gay because his breakout hitC.R.A.Z.Y.,which Canada submitted for the Oscars back in its day a decade ago,亚博主页was a fine LGBT coming out drama in addition to the other things it was good at,but it turns out he's straight.)

Vallée is riding quite an Oscar wave at the moment postThe Dallas Buyers ClubandWildand his next filmDemolitionwith Jake Gyllenhaalpremieres at TIFF.(It's planning on 2016 for its US release but don't expect that plan to stick if reviews are sensational.) Villeneuve's career has been building for some time as well.Canada has actually submitted his work three times in the foreign language film category and the last of themIncendies(2010) was nominated for the big show.His newest featureSicario(see that intense trailer) stars Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro in a drug trafficking drama and could be one of the fall's mightiest films anda possible Oscar player.We shall see.

Do you like these directors?

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Reader Comments (17)


It's been very cool seeing our hometown stars get such recognition.And C.R.A.Z.Y.remains one of my all-time favorites.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDominique

Yes!I'm super proud that these Québécois directors are doing so well.I'm still waiting for either of them to make a film that blow me away,but they are very promissing.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel

By Villeneuve I only saw Prisoners and I totally loved it.
I don't love so much Vallee.He's a very crafty director,makes too much games with editing and sound.Sometimes it almost works (Wild),sometimes not (Dallas Buyers Club).Crazy was a great debut,it didn't have all those games.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterP.

I've been interested in Vallée for a while now because I loved Dallas Buyers Club,and Wild made my Top 10 from the great year that was 2014.I must see since you said it was very good.

As for Villeneuve,I wasn't a fan of Prisoners,but his other films certainly sound intriguing.I wonder which of the two will be up for Best Director first.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterSean Troutman

Neither of them has ever excited me wildly,and both regularly fall into unfortunate habits and stylistic tics.But "Wild"has stayed with me well beyond what I thought it would.It grows more and more moving with afterthought.Though I think I appreciated the writing a lot more than the direction (and I found Witherspoon's performance merely fine rather than revelatory - I was much more excited by Dern's brief bit).

August 4,2015 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I haven't seen any of Villeneuve's films yet (though I'm looking forward to Sicario).The only Vallee film I've seen is Dallas Buyers Club,which I liked a lot (and a lot more than I thought I would): it managed to take something that I feared would be full of cliches and turn it into something fresh and effective.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

This is a great idea for a photo series.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I get that the point is to show that homosexual relationships are normal and loving,but this is a little too "heterosexuals are so brave for playing gay"for me.Even though this was made by a gay guy.

I like Wild fine enough.Demolition sounds a little too much like sad rich white guy,but I guess we'll see what the reviews say.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I thought Vallee had to be gay too,but clearly I was wrong and was just guessing based on material I guess.Oh and the sensitivity of the handling of all the actors in his movies.

I want to see more photos!

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

Ryan -- that irked me a little bit too but I admire the 'normalizing' aspect of stuff like this.

Goran-- yeah.wild was sticky in that way.still annoyed that it didn't do better with Oscar.

August 4,2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The release date change for Demolition didn't concern me as much as others because April actually sounds like a reasonable date and its not like its January.But when it was announced as the TIFF opening night film i got worried.Most of the recent TIFF openers have been on the worse side of bad.Which makes me wonder if Demolition is any different but apparently TIFF was trying to change that this year.Spotlight was one of the other films rumored to be in contention for the opening spot.I'm a fan of Vallee so I'm looking forward to this one but I'm very curious as to what the reaction will be.I heard rumors though that the change of date was so Gyllenhaal didn't have too many movies to promote at the same time.Not sure if this is true.Also wonder if Harvey had a hand in it because it would've affected his campaign for Southpaw.But with that film's oscar hopes gone maybe Demolition's release date will change again.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

I absolutely loved "C.R.A.Z.Y."when I first saw it,or at least the first half of the film before it becomes kind of meandering.It's not a film for those who resist highly flamboyant visual and aural stylization,but if you like that kind of thing it's quite seductive - great editing and integration of music.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Love Vallee's Cafe de Flore and Wild (haven't seen CRAZY).Hate his Dallas Buyer's Club and The Young Victoria.

I like all of the Villeneuve I've seen,although I am colder on Polytechnique than most.His short,Next Floor,is extraordinary.

August 4,2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

C.R.A.Z.Y.showed the world a smaller industry can produce a Michel Cote,who is as good as his French counterparts like Lindon,Dussolier,Gourmet.

It is so typical of the collaborative nature of movies,that its gay identity comes from co-writer François Boulay who is an old friend of Vallee.

August 5,2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatz

"heterosexuals are so brave for playing gay": There's an obvious antidote for that,beyond the automatic awarding or withholding a ribbon awards.It's not to play Braveness Olympics,but to recognize homophobia affects all men.One doesn't have to "be"or "identify"with gay,to experience homophobia and discrimination.You simply have to come under suspicion,be perceived as one,and have "enough"people label you as one.The act of "labeling"as gay by someone else other than the subject in question,however their intentions are couched,is enough to invite conversations,and permutations of homophobia.

(And in the case of both directors who are friends with Xavier Dolan besides other gay friends in their lives,it is probably more in solidarity - especially since Dolan freely endears himself to English speakers proclaiming he's ready to "traitorously"turn straight for Queen Chastain:P)

August 6,2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatz

And look at the double standards: Was there a rush to coronate Moore and Blanchett as "brave""allies",for playing lesbians onscreen?Why do they get brownie points as straight-identifying women?(Obvious answer is their ascension to the thrones of Queens of Actressexuals!)

What about Steve Carrell playing a gay man for the second time?Just plain vanilla dramatic scenes,are different from portraying sex scenes as the masculine top.The cultural values steeling the perception of Carrell as an actor change again,had he performed a sex scene as a sub-masculine,or effete,bottom.

Why did The D Train flop again,even as a limited release?How much more accessible could the movie be,if the sex acts were politely implied offscreen,as in The Imitation Game or The Bird Cage?

August 6,2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatz

P.S.The idea of Normalization via images,is all about Perception as a significant part of Being.However correct,misjudged,or fuzzy those perceptions are.Some pertinent examples:

The murder of Matthew Shepard,who identified gay and was perceived as gay by his killers.

The murder of Vincent Chin,who identified Chinese and was perceived as Japanese by his killers.

August 6,2015 | Unregistered CommenterKatz

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