The awards season kicks off every September as three film festivals draw the competitive field into focus: In Venice, high-profile contenders jockey for red-carpet buzz. At Colorado’s Telluride a few days later, Hollywood power players hit exclusive movie screenings in their Uggs and sweatpants. But it’s at the crowd-friendly Toronto International Film Festival—the most comprehensive film showcase in North America—where hundreds of movies get their best chances of breaking out with actual audiences. Last year’s TIFF saw the public coronations of future Academy Award contenders like The Martian and Spotlight; this year we expect no less from directors such as Oliver Stone (Snowden) and actors like Natalie Portman (Jackie). We’ve examined the lineup and have our 15 favorites—check these titles out.
RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the Toronto Film Festival