Denis Villeneuve is a director who has become synonymous with intense, cerebral cinema.
His films often delve into the horror of existence and the monsters that live just below the surface of society.
Best Denis Villeneuve Movies
Let’s jump right in with a modern classic!
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Blade Runner 2049 is a 2017 American science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Hampton Fancher, Michael Green, and David Webb Peoples.
It stars Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard (replacing Roger Moore), reprising his role from the original Blade Runner.
The story opens in 2049, thirty years after the events of the first film. An on-screen text states that the Tyrell Corporation has collapsed decades before, in the wake of violent revolts involving their Nexus-6 through -8 Replicants, forcing the company into bankruptcy.
After the world’s ecosystems collapsed in the mid-2020s, famine swept the Earth, killing millions.
With his invention of synthetic farming, a wealthy businessman named Niander Wallace (Jared Leto) ended food shortages and acquired Tyrell’s remaining assets to form his own corporation.
The Wallace Company has reinvigorated the Replicant industry by mass-producing the Nexus-9 Replicants, a new generation of artificial humans with modified behavior to make them more obedient than the older models.
These Replicants have implanted memories and open-ended lifespans, and are still used for slave labor on the off-world colonies (the Moon, Mars, and the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, etc.), but some are also used as Blade Runner units, hunting down and “retiring” the few remaining older model Replicants that are still at large.
The Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s award-winning film Incendies is a tale of two sisters, one in Canada and the other in Saudi Arabia.
The younger sister wants to find out what happened to her father who died under mysterious circumstances as a political prisoner when she was young.
She enlists the help of her older sister, who has just finished college and is studying law at McGill University in Montreal.
The movie begins with an opening scene that will make your jaw drop- you watch as fire engulfs the family home where they grew up and their mother dies from smoke inhalation.
BEST DENIS VILLENEUVE MOVIES
Who Is Denis Villeneuve?
Denis Villeneuve is a Canadian film director, screenwriter, and producer. He has directed films such as Arrival (2016), Sicario (2015), Prisoners (2013), and Enemy (2013).
Denis received the prestigious Cannes Film Festival award for Best Director in 2008 for his work on the critically acclaimed movie Incendies.
Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival is a film that captivates the audience with its realistic portrayal of life and death, as well as the emotion it evokes.
The plot revolves around an alien invasion in which 12 extraterrestrial ships arrived on earth at seemingly random points across the globe. Amy Adams stars as Dr. Louise Banks, a linguist who has been tasked to decipher what their intentions are by communicating with them through touch-typing into a machine called “The Machine.”
She sits across from one of these beings and communicates via typing in order to find out why they have come here and how long they plan on staying for.
Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners is a film that follows two families who are shattered by the kidnapping of their children.
The film has an ensemble cast including Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, and Paul Dano.
While one family turns to God in hope, the other resorts to violence and revenge. The movie has an intense tone which will leave viewers on edge as they watch this story unfold.
The film was a financial and critical success, grossing US$122 million worldwide. It was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2013, and at the 86th Academy Awards, it was nominated for Best Cinematography.
A recent film release, Sicario (2015) directed by Denis Villeneuve, tells the story of Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), a law enforcement agent who is recruited into an FBI task force to take down a Mexican drug cartel.
The movie focuses on her dealing with the moral ambiguity of her job and the violence that comes with it.
Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy is one of the most intense and psychologically captivating films I’ve seen in years.
The film tells the story of two men, both played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who are identical on the outside but have diametrically opposite personalities.
One man is a passive father while the other has become an obsessive actor.
The movie follows their parallel lives from childhood to adulthood as they find themselves living in different parts of Canada with no knowledge about each other’s existence until a fateful encounter happens.
August 32nd Earth (1998)
The film, “August 32nd Earth (1998)”, is a 1998 documentary about the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa.
The film offers a critical examination of what was happening at the time and how it has affected people’s lives.
It’s unclear when this epidemic will be over, but hopefully, with time we can learn from our past mistakes to end this as soon as possible.
The 2009 movie Polytechnique tells the story of a young man named Jean-François, who is studying at a prestigious university in Montreal.
One day he attends his favorite professor’s class and learns that she has been killed by one of her students.
The film follows Jean-François as he grapples with this tragedy and how it will change him forever.
Denis Villeneuve’s “Maelstrom” is a Canadian film that takes place in Quebec. The story follows the lives of two men, one from France and one from China.
They both come to work on the Great Whale Project which was started by an elite group of scientists who are attempting to find new ways to generate energy while also dealing with global warming.
The French man is frustrated with his life at home and decides that he wants more out of life, so he travels across the world in search of something better, only to find himself stuck living in a small cabin hundreds of miles away from any civilization.
The best Denis Villeneuve movies are ones where he explores these themes in unique ways, such as Enemy (2013) which follows a man who becomes obsessed with his doppelganger after they come face to face on the train platform.
Where Is Denis Villeneuve From
Denis Villeneuve is from Draveil, France.
He was born on October 3rd, 1967 and studied film at the Université du Québec à Montréal. After graduating he became a director for many films such as Polytechnique, Incendies, and Enemy.
What Is Denis Villeneuve Known For
Denis Villeneuve is a Canadian film director who has made some of the most memorable films in recent years.
His latest release, Blade Runner 2049, was met with critical acclaim and it’s easy to see why: it features beautiful cinematography, an intriguing storyline that ties into the original Blade Runner movie, and stunning visuals.
What Is Denis Villeneuve’s Directing Style?
One of the most interesting things about Denis Villeneuve is his directing style.
He has a very specific way that he likes to shoot movies, and it’s easy to see why once you watch one of them. His shots are beautiful and detailed (he often shoots as many as 450 takes).
One thing in particular that I love about his work is how he views violence – or more specifically, how he doesn’t view violence.
Quote From Denis Villeneuve
“When I was a kid, I was always going to bed creating a story and that was the birth of filmmaking for me. I would like to go to the dream state by telling the story to someone else in my mind. That was my imaginary friend; it was an imaginary audience listening to my story.”
In Denis Villeneuve’s films, he often features a character speaking to the audience. These quotes are always interesting and captivating because they offer insight into the mind of an intriguing person.