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TIFFbits: Festival quirks

The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from Sept. 4-14, certainly has its share of quirks.

Handsomest director: No, it’s not Michael Moore, who will present an anniversary screening of “Roger & Me.” It’s Captain America himself, Chris Evans, who screens his first outing as a director, “Before We Go.”

Star seeking atonement for past cinematic sins: Adam Sandler, who stars in two films at the festival, Jason Reitman’s ensemble effort “Men, Women and Children” and Tom “The Station Agent” McCarthy’s “The Cobbler.”

Nicole Kidman Award for achievement in prosthetic nose-wearing: Steve Carell, a probable Oscar nominee as murderous John du Pont in “Foxcatcher.”

Most likely to win over her haters: Kristen Stewart in “Clouds of Sils Maria,” an acclaimed smash at May’s Cannes Film festival co-starring Juliette Binoche and Chloë Grace Moretz.

Worst title: “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 2.” All it’s missing is “Electric Boogaloo” as a subtitle. (Speaking of the “Boogaloo,” the documentary “Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films” looks at the offbeat studio that managed to bring efforts from both Jean-Luc Godard and Chuck Norris to the masses in the ’80s.)

Godard? He’s here, too: The New Wave auteur’s latest is, yes, in 3-D. His “Goodbye to Language” was one of the most acclaimed films at Cannes. Will this befuddle audiences as much as his last, “Film Socialism”? Probably.

“Law & Order,” Italy-style: In “The Face of An Angel,” Michael Winterbottom explores the Amanda Knox case.

Most egregious example of onscreen facial hair: John Travolta in “The Forger,” who looks like a cross between a character in the board game “Guess Who?” and Ming the Merciless.

Hey, it’s Scotty Bowman: The former Sabres’ coach and GM appears in “Red Army,” a documentary about the Soviet hockey juggernaut of the 1980s.

Coolest cast: Ben Stiller, Naomi Watts, Adam Driver, Amanda Seyfried and Charles Grodin lead Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha” follow-up, “While We’re Young.”

Music fan can’t-miss: Perhaps the most acclaimed film at winter’s Sundance Film Festival, “Whiplash” is about a young drummer (Miles Teller) and his relentless instructor (J.K. Simmons).

Most tear-inducing onscreen appearance: James Gandolfini, whose final film, “The Drop,” co-starring Tom Hardy and Noomie Rapace, screens at TIFF.

Please, someone stop James Franco: The actor-author-director-dreamboat-embarrassment directs and stars in (as the developmentally challenged Benjy) an adaptation of William Faulkner’s “The Sound and the Fury.”

TV favorites, unite: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”) and Adam Driver (“Girls”) in the same movie? That’s “This Is Where I Leave You.”

[Return to the Gusto cover story on TIFF, learn Schobert's 5 most buzzy films or see which 5 are under the radar]

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