“The Imitation Game”: Perhaps only “The Theory of Everything” could rival this biopic of mathematician Alan Turing in the Oscar Bait Sweepstakes. Much-loved “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch leads a starry cast (Keira Knightley, Charles Dance) in a story that focuses on Turing’s World War II code-breaking and eventual persecution for homosexuality.
“Maps to the Stars”: David Cronenberg is TIFF, a Canadian filmmaker who has premiered many of his greatest efforts (“Dead Ringers,” “Eastern Promises”) at the festival. His latest, a Hollywood-skewering satire, thrust star Julianne Moore into early awards talk after premiering in Cannes. It may prove too acidic for mainstream audiences, but at TIFF it should go down like your fifth cocktail.
“Rosewater”: Jon Stewart, award-winning filmmaker? That’s jumping the gun a bit, but on paper, at least, the “Daily Show” host’s directorial debut reads like a moving, important drama. It stars Gael Garcia Bernal as a real-life journalist imprisoned for five years in Iran.
“The Theory of Everything”: “Les Misérables” star Eddie Redmayne as young Stephen Hawking, with the talented Felicity Jones (“Like Crazy”) as the renowned physicist’s first wife? Yes. This is a must.
“Wild”: Reese Witherspoon’s movies veer from the “wow” (“Walk the Line,” “Mud”), to the “what was she thinking?” (“This Means War,” “Four Christmases”). But this adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about her 1,000-mile hike is scripted by Nick Hornby and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyer’s Club”). That’s an intriguing combination of talent.