Friday, December 5, 2014

Jean-Marc Vallee on Wild, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and His Mother

Jean-Marc Vallée Directs Wild
By Anne Brodie
Montreal’s Oscar nominated director Jean-Marc Vallée makes films that are universal and human but they are also immensely personal in terms of his connection to the story, the music he uses and the way he relates to the actors. Wild stars Reese Witherspoon, in an award-worthy performance, as a woman mourning the death of her mother (Laura Dern). She sets out on a solo thousand mile trek to make sense of losing the “love of her life”, and figure out the future. Vallée’s films, including Dallas Buyers Club and Café de Flore reveal his understanding of human psychology but there was more at work in Wild. He had a profoundly personal tie to the story.  We spoke during the Toronto International Film Festival.
Reese’ character goes on a solo journey to “find herself” following the loss of her mother.   We don’t see women doing this in film much, so it’s good to see.  How did you relate to it?
I’m not a girl; it’s not a chick flick. There are two strong female characters. Who is this guy!! I related to the material like Reese and Laura. What an amazing book and script.  I lost my mom of cancer three years ago, so it was a way of being with her. It’s about strong women, one of them me. I just wanted to be part of it.  It could be father and son, but I did that before in C.R.A.Z.Y.  It was a theme that I was close to, with its strong female characters, one of them being just like my mother.  Her mother was like my mother. We were positive.  “It’s going to work out, trust God, trust life!” “Shut up mom” and here I am talking about it and being happy talking about it ...

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