Did you like Dune? Discover the other films of Denis Villeneuve

While “Dune” has been in theaters since September 15, (re) discover the other gems directed by Denis Villeneuve, from “Premier contact” to “Prisoners” via “Sicario”.

Did you like dune? Discover the other films of denis villeneuve
Sony Pictures Releasing France

THE BEGINNINGS

France got to know Denis Villeneuve in two stages: going through Cannes and Un Certain Regard in 1998, Un 32 August sur Terre was released in our theaters… two years later. Confidential, like his second feature film, Maelström, visible in 2001 in France. Two opus which revolve around an accident, a radical change of life, and let glimpse the faculties of the filmmaker when it comes to scrutinizing the intimate.

Did you like dune? Discover the other films of denis villeneuve

Remstar Productions Inc.

And it was in 2009 that he confirmed all the hopes placed in him with the Polytechnique shock, a black and white account of the slaughter that had occurred two decades earlier in the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal. We obviously think of Elephant by Gus Van Sant, and Denis Villeneuve cannot escape the comparison with the 2003 Palme d’Or, with whom he shares a choral side in his way of following the characters.

But the director seduces by his sobriety and his restraint in the treatment of the news item, as well as by the few notes of hope that he radiates despite the tragedy. And he is already proving his love of aerial plans that we will find in Blade Runner 2049 or Dune.

With 5 Jutra Awards (Quebec equivalent of the César and Oscars), including that of Best Director, he has established his author as a sure value whose talent is waiting to explode with the general public. Which is only a matter of time.

FIRES (2011)

Did you like dune? Discover the other films of denis villeneuve

Happiness

Considered one of the 10 best films of 2011 by the New York Times, Incendies is the film that will bring an international aura to Denis Villeneuve and which will allow him his foray into the Hollywood market thereafter with Prisoners and Enemy, in particular. Inspired by the play by Wajdi Mouawad, itself inspired by the life of Souha Bechara, this film tells the quest of the twins Jeanne and Simon on their origins and the true story of their mother.

Narrowly missing the statuette for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars, Incendies won over critics as much as audiences with the strength of its narrative and the breathtaking beauty of its cruel, raw but cruel images of truth.

This family chronicle touches the heart and marks a turning point in the career of Denis Villeneuve, who shows the whole world all his talent for mixing emotion and the accuracy of the intimate with the extraordinary staging of a powerful thriller. large scope.

PRISONERS (2013)

Did you like dune? Discover the other films of denis villeneuve

SND

Prisoners is undoubtedly the film which made Denis Villeneuve explode in the eyes of the general public. This very dark, harsh and violent thriller left its mark on the spectators, spellbound by the exceptional performances of Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The first powerfully embodies a father devastated by the disappearance of his daughter, breaking completely with his character of Wolverine who was starting to stick to his skin too much. As for the second, he plays a pugnacious and phlegmatic investigator with rare intensity.

By signing this breathtaking thriller, Denis Villeneuve shook a genre that had become a little dying, summoning prestigious influences such as Zodiac by David Fincher or Mystic River by Clint Eastwood. Relentless suspense, creepy and bleak atmosphere, the Canadian took us into a paranoid whirlwind for 2 hours 30, leaving us completely speechless at the time of the outcome.

ENEMY (2013)

Did you like dune? Discover the other films of denis villeneuve

capelight pictures

The same year as the release of his remarkable Prisoners, the Quebec filmmaker finds Jake gyllenhaal for a second feature film that is much more intimate, much more confidential, but just as disturbing for the spectators who dare to venture there.

This psychological maze worthy of a Christopher Nolan, this “new trap of Denis Villeneuve, as the trailer describes it, follows the journey of Adam Bell, a monotonous university professor who suddenly makes a most overwhelming discovery: somewhere, a few miles from his home, lives a man who looks exactly like it.

Trompe l’oeil, illusion, paranoid delirium or schizophrenic confusion … Enemy is in any case a spider’s web from which you will not get rid of so easily, and whose final plan, as disturbing as it is disarming, promises to haunt you for some time.

SICARIO (2015)

Did you like dune? Discover the other films of denis villeneuve

StudioCanal

After the very intimate Enemy, Denis Villeneuve tackled a new genre, the detective action film with Sicario. As usual, he shatters the usual codes, offering an absolutely astonishing spectacle, taking the opposite view of all productions of the genre.

Emily Blunt has one of her best roles there, that of an idealistic young recruit to the FBI. The latter is enlisted to help an elite intervention group led by a government agent in the fight against drug trafficking.

Located in the border area between the United States and Mexico, which has become lawless territory, Sicario in a way prefigured Dune. Arid landscapes, a heavy atmosphere, political issues, the betrayal of the elites, a young heroine whose ideals waver … themes that can be found in her new SF feature film.

We also find Josh Brolin, who will then be in Dune, as well as a brilliant Benicio Del Toro. The latter will also be the protagonist of the sequel, Sicario: la guerre des Cartels, which will brilliantly extend Villeneuve’s story.

FIRST CONTACT (2016)

Did you like dune? Discover the other films of denis villeneuve

Sony Pictures Releasing France

From drama to more or less twisted thriller, there was only one step that Denis Villeneuve took more than once and without stumbling. Seeing him tackle sci-fi wasn’t obvious, however, but he does by grabbing the adaptation of the short story. “The Story of Your Life” signed Ted Chiang. Or the story of a linguist requisitioned to try to communicate with the extraterrestrials who have landed on Earth, and understand their intentions.

Far from being an author’s Independence Day, Premier Contact keeps both feet on the ground, focused above all on the human, and presents itself as an intimate drama that develops in a SF setting and is above all about communication. Intelligent, sensitive and (very) moving, the film ultimately resembles its director, who offers Amy Adams one of her most striking roles. And unfairly shunned by the Oscars.

BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017)

Did you like dune? Discover the other films of denis villeneuve

Sony Pictures Releasing France

So maybe… Putting thriller then action in his cinema, Denis Villeneuve has succeeded. To come out of the Cannes Competition unscathed, even without a prize, too. The same when he ventured into SF. But it is a seemingly impossible mission that presents itself to him when he is entrusted with the reins of Blade Runner 2049, a long-discussed sequel to the Ridley Scott classic, and that many considered as unnecessary as it was unworkable. From the first images, however, doubt sets in, as the director seems to have managed to revive the atmosphere of the first opus.

And the result proves that it wasn’t just cleverly edited teasers and trailers. If some criticize him for a slight lack of emotion, Denis Villeneuve succeeds in his bet, in both substance and form, by being embodied in the character of Ryan Gosling, in search of his true role in the great story and aware of the legacy he faces. Two Oscars (Best Photo and Best Special Effects) on arrival for this intelligent and imposing blockbuster, which suggests that the director may have the shoulders to make one of his biggest dreams come true.

(Re) discover the trailer for “Blade Runner 2049” …

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