1. The King's Speech
After his father dies and brother abdicates, a stammering Bertie (Colin Firth) assumes the throne as King George VI. Needing a steady voice to guide England through World War II, he employs the help of an unconventional therapist (Geoffrey Rush), who teaches him to speak—and helps him find his voice.
Director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker) returns with the semi-autobiographical story of Oliver (Ewan McGregor), a 38-year-old whose mother's death prompts an unexpected confession from his 75-year-old father—he's gay. Christopher Plummer's portrayal of a septuagenarian navigating newfound sexual freedom and uncertainty is Oscar-worthy.
A dark and cautionary tale of online predators, Trust tells the story of a 14-year-old girl raped by a man she met in an Internet chat room and her family's attempts to deal with the trauma. Most surprising about the film is its director, Friends alum David Schwimmer, who shows that he's miles away from his sitcom past.
4. Never Let Me Go
Prolific music video director Mark Romanek puts his unique visual spin on an adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel, a dystopian drama centered on three friends (Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, and Carey Mullligan) who discover that they have been raised for compulsory organ donation. Part science fiction, part old-fashioned love story, Never Let Me Go leaves a haunting, yet oddly relatable impression.
5. L'Amour Fou
L'Amour Fou, which follows the fashion legend Yves Saint-Laurent's partner (in business and in life), Pierre Bergé, as he readies for the 2009 Christie's auction of the couple's art collection, reveals the scope of Laurent's life: head designer of Dior at 21, friendships with Andy Warhol and Catherine Deneuve, and a way of channeling the beauty of everything from Mondrian to Marrakech through his clothing. Our favorite documentary of the festival.
—By Andrea Oliveri