Toronto: Todd McCarthy on 5 Sleeper Films Not to Miss

Foreign Body Still - H 2014
Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

Foreign Body Still - H 2014

THR's chief critic picks the mostly low-buzz titles he hopes to catch

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Looking for recommendations on what movies to seek out while you're at the Toronto Film Festival? THR's chief film critic Todd McCarthy reveals the five titles — mostly low-buzz (and mostly international) — that he hopes to catch between the Hollywood gala openings.

Foreign Body
One always likes to think once-great directors might have a late masterpiece in them, and it would be lovely to see one from Polish luminary Krzysztof Zanussi (Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease), whose latest film ruminates on the new capitalist Poland.

Another societal sizing-up, this from Swedish director Mikael Marcimain, who won the 2012 critics' prize in Toronto for Call Girl. The festival's description of his new film snared me: a "deliciously pulpy, Pynchon-like counter-history of postwar Sweden."

Murder in Pacot
Veteran Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck turns up with a provocative-sounding drama about a Haitian couple who, to bring in cash, rents space to a humanitarian aid worker and his saucy native girlfriend. The title suggests it doesn't remain a foursome for long.

The Theory of Everything
British director James Marsh has done great work in documentaries (Man on Wire) and television (Red Riding), suggesting he could extract the best out of this look at the early relationship between Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) and his wife, Jane (Felicity Jones).

Here's a Hollywood title — albeit on the indie side — with Reese Witherspoon tackling the sort of role she should have done more of during recent years, instead of manufactured projects. How will French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallee fare with his first film since Dallas Buyers Club?