It’s been a challenging year for the Toronto International Film Festival. The energy felt particularly muted, largely thanks to the SAG and WGA strikes, which prevented the large swathes of talent that typically swarm the Canadian city from coming. Instead, big-time premieres had a strange quiet to them—though that didn’t stop audiences from coming out in droves.

Beyond the AMPTP-induced controversies, this year’s TIFF was, as it always is, a vital preview of Oscar season. The festival offers an opportunity for talent from all around the world—whether first-time performers or grizzled veterans—a chance to break through. For me, that’s always been the best part of festival season.

With that in mind, here are the best performances from the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, from the big movies already on your radar, to the ones you’ll need to add to your lists ASAP.

In no particular order…

Maddie Ziegler, Fitting In

One of the most surprising films at TIFF was Fitting In, a coming-of-age film about horny teenager Lindy (Ziegler), who finds out that a unique medical condition prevents her from being able to have sex. Ziegler proves she’s an excellent actress in this performance, beautifully portraying teenage angst and anxiety. Every erratic decision Lindy makes feels sensible thanks to the vibrancy Ziegler gives one of the better teen characters in recent memory.

Check out the full list of movies here