Quebec's Oscar contenders from Dallas Buyers Club, Her
Quebec director Jean-Marc Vallee is pictured at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
By Cassandra Szklarski , The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 16, 2014 10:11AM EST
TORONTO -- Jean-Marc Vallee's "Dallas Buyers Club" has nabbed a slew of Oscar nominations including best film, best actor, best supporting actor and best film editing for Montreal's Martin Pensa.
Pensa shares the nomination with John Mac McMurphy.
Quebec's Vallee was shut out of the best director category but his scrappy indie film about HIV-positive activist Ron Woodroof has vaulted him into the spotlight with prominent nominations ahead of the glitzy bash.
"Dallas Buyers Club" also earned nods for best original screenplay, and makeup and hairstyling.
Meanwhile, Canada's Owen Pallett and Arcade Fire member Will Butler scored a nomination for best original score for their work on "Her." Pallett is a frequent collaborator with the Montreal-based band.
"Her" centres on a recently divorced writer played by Joaquin Phoenix who finds love with an artificial intelligence computer operating system known as Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
Vallee said in a statement that the Oscar kudos were "a beautiful way" to conclude his adventure with "Dallas Buyers Club," which stars an emaciated Matthew McConaughey as Woodroof and a slimmed-down Jared Leto as a drag queen.
"My collaborators and I have had an amazing time making this film," Vallee said in a statement issued minutes after the nominations came out Thursday.
"Today we all share a collective sense of pride as we have had the opportunity to spotlight a part of history that's both beautiful and sometimes painful to remember, and been able to tell a story which has touched the hearts of many."
A biography for Pensa on the Focus Features website says he studied at the Los Angeles Film School and first collaborated with Vallee on "Cafe de Flore."
He began his career as a child actor in Montreal, dubbing into French the performances of child actors including Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood for their films' Canadian releases.
Meanwhile, Toronto-based actress-turned-director Sarah Polley was shut out of the best documentary category. She had been considered a strong contender for her intensely personal documentary, "Stories We Tell."
The film earned early critics prizes including kudos from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review and a $100,000 prize from the Toronto Film Critics Association.
The Academy Awards ceremony takes place March 2.