The other competition entry that stayed with me — and felt fresher than any other — was Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes, one of an unprecedented eight in that section’s lineup (fully half!) directed by women. Francesca Gregorini’s sophomore film is vividly realized, and playing the title character, Kaya Scodelario (a striking screen presence destined to be a huge star) consistently transcends her material, even when it gets bogged down in symbolism. Scodelario’s Emanuel is haunted by the passing of her mother who died giving birth to her. A morbid smart-ass, she takes pleasure in inflicting emotional pain on her well-meaning dad (Alfred Molina) and uptight new stepmom (Frances O’Connor). When Linda (Jessica Biel), the spitting image of Emanuel’s mom, moves in next door with her newborn, Emanuel becomes enamored of her, no doubt looking to fill the void left by mother’s death. But upon discovering Linda’s sad, disturbing secret. she becomes so fiercely protective of her new neighbor that it’s she who she assumes the mothering role.