The Toronto International Film Festival, which ended this weekend, was busy, buzzing, and full of jam-packed screenings—a sign, if you were looking for one, that moviegoing is back. But of course, moviegoing is not back. The summer box office has been dismal, making Toronto feel rather like a hopeful sign of things to come: a sign that awards-season films are on their way and not all of them to your streaming services. There will be reasons to head to the cineplex this fall.

The crowds of movie lovers on the streets of Toronto were desperate for a red-carpet glimpse of Harry Styles (there for the premiere of My Policeman) or Daniel Craig (there for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) or Michelle Williams (the star of Steven Spielberg’s audience-award-winning The Fabelmans). The rush lines were long; I waited in queues stretching three blocks or more to see The Whale (Darren Aronofsky’s latest about a 600-pound man, played resonantly by Brendan Fraser) and Women Talking (more on that below). Over four days at the festival, I saw as much as I could. Here are my favorites, in order of release. Mark your calendars.

Aftersun (A24, October 21)

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This is a sophisticated gothic ghost story and family mystery from the great British director Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir I and II), starring Tilda Swinton, who is dazzling in a double role. Julie and her mother, Rosalind (both played by Swinton), travel to a grand country hotel in Wales for a getaway. Starchy members of the British upper class, these two are hilariously contained in their expressions of feeling, even as they both brim with emotion and things unsaid. The country hotel is wreathed in mist, seemingly abandoned (except for one drolly bad-tempered hostess, played by Carly Sophia-Davies), and apparently haunted. I loved Hogg’s use of genre tropes, including a genuinely disquieting sequence involving an apparition, and enjoyed the canny reveal.

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