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)