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Toronto Film Fest ends with a bang

The festival’s final days were packed with A-list projects. But which ones made the grade?

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Friends with Kids
A couple of hyperverbal longtime friends (Adam Scott, who’s the movie’s great strength, and a much weaker Jennifer Westfeldt, who’s also the writer-director) decide to make and raise a kid while pursuing independent romantic adventures. Not so easy. An endearing comic cast — pretty much everyone from Bridesmaids — does what it can with an uneven script.

The Oranges
I know this warped tale of suburban unhappiness is trying to be fresh and out-there. But the sight of House‘s Hugh Laurie as a New Jersey dad, making out with Gossip Girl‘s Leighton Meester as the daughter of his best friends across the street, is off-putting and really creepy.

Take This Waltz
Michelle Williams? Love her. The wan, drifty, needy, baby-talking young woman she plays in writer-director Sarah Polley’s precious drama of poor romantic communication? Don’t love her. The lass can’t choose between her nice husband (Seth Rogen) and the cute guy across the street (Canadian star Luke Kirby) who turns her on. So she weeps.

The Deep Blue Sea
Along with Alexander Payne’s thoroughly splendid new triumph The Descendants, Terence Davies’ (typically) exquisite, nuanced, romantic tragedy, adapted from a 1950s play by Terence Rattigan, is my 2011 TIFF favorite. A beautiful, vulnerable Rachel Weisz will break your heart just as she cracked mine, playing a woman who leaves her husband (Simon Russell Beale) for a man (Tom Hiddleston) she knows will never love her the way she does him. Take this waltz instead.