TORONTO -- With 24 movies viewed at North America's largest film festival, here are seven from outside the vaunted studio system to seek out in the coming weeks and (more likely) months:
Kissing Candice: First-time director Aoife McCardle becomes a young artist to watch after dipping a teenager's vivid imagination into a startling mix of early Tarantino, beautifully creative imagery and small-town Ireland violence.
Outside In: The smart Edie Falco, who's also at TIFF in Louis C.K.'s "I Love You Daddy," plays a teacher finding herself in a sticky-wicket relationship after working hard to get a former student (Jay Duplass) out of prison. It all adds up to some powerful drama from writer/director Lynn Shelton.
The Death of Stalin: Count me in on any satire that has the great Steve Buscemi letting me buy into his portrayal of Nikita Khrushchev, of all people. Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Palin and Andrea Riseborough (another fest double-dipper with an equally nice turn as Billie Jean King's "hairdresser" in "Battle of the Sexes") also shine as part of the very funny ensemble assembled by "Veep" creator Armando Ianucci.
Disobedience: Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams co-star and exhibit chemistry together in various ways in a Sebastian Lelio film based on a successful novel. Of course, the Chilean Lelio has the much-heralded "A Fantastic Woman" at the festival, too.
The China Hustle: Here's a documentary that could -- once again -- blow the banks off Wall Street by shedding light on another fraudulent stock market scheme. Sherrod Brown, the U.S. Senator from Ohio, makes a brief appearance in a film that, frankly, is not very kind to politicians.
Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood: And this doc, based on a best-selling memoir called "Full Service," features stories ripe with legendary names from a now 90-year-old former procurer for the stars. You gotta see it to believe it. Or not.
Chappaquiddick: Speaking of names, late U.S. Sen. Edward "Teddy" Kennedy goes under the unflattering microscope in a movie that's as unsettling as any at this year's TIFF. Jason Clarke heads another fine ensemble cast, as the youngest Kennedy brother, in director John Curran's autopsy of how a tragic accident (during the same weekend of the 1969 moon landing no less) killed bright young Mary Jo Kopechne and Kennedy's presidential hopes.
The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs though Sunday. Visit tiff.net for more info and return here Friday for another report.
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