Writer-director Karen Moncrieff's impressive debut, Blue Car, is our pick for the sleeper hit of the fall. The unflinching portrait of a latchkey teenager, 17-year-old newcomer Agnes Bruckner, who falls into an inappropriate relationship with her high-school English teacher (David Strathairn) premiered at the last Sundance Film Festival on a Friday, and by Saturday it was the object of an intense bidding war. By turns fierce and fragile, Bruckner is a revelation. This performance will be the envy of actresses twice her age.
(Miramax; November 8)