Eva Husson’s drama “Mothering Sunday” has touched down at the Toronto Film Festival, continuing its successful run from Cannes, and drumming up intrigue and awards-season buzz.

Starring Odessa Young and “The Crown” breakout Josh O’Connor, the period drama brings a modern, feminist take on a heady, but complicated love affair — one that has earned praise for its frank and evolved depiction of sexuality.

“It’s a beautiful part of life, and I’m lucky enough to come from a culture where we embrace it,” said French director Husson about the movie, which sees Young’s chambermaid involved with O’Connor’s upperclass character in 1924.

As the young maid silently charts a future for herself outside the caste system, O’Connor’s character grapples with the pressure of fulfilling the dreams of his parents and other local affluent families after his brothers and peers were killed in World War I. The two stars are often seen naked, physically and emotionally, as an act of defiance against their respective societal prisons.

“It’s natural and loving. I think that my process with Josh and Odessa was to show myself quite vulnerable to them … so that they would understand I was there for them and I was not trying to get something out of them without being their safety net,” Husson said on Friday at the Variety Studio at TIFF presented by Canada Goose.

“One of my obsessions was to work on trust. It’s about spending time together, and laughing together, and once you get that going and it’s real, all these other doors open. The rest, the nakedness, the choreography — your body is a tool. If you don’t approach it with [toxicity], it unravels naturally,” Husson concluded.

While the bulk of the story takes place across one afternoon, O’Connor said he enjoyed dreaming up his character’s moments before and after the action of the plot. On a red-hot streak thanks to his Emmy-nominated turn in “The Crown,” O’Connor shot “Mothering Sunday” in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic. He’s currently committed to several U.S.-based films, though he declined to name them, but enjoyed the freedom of COVID isolation to catch up on a most American tradition — the Marvel movies.

“I’d never seen a Marvel movie in my life until lockdown and then I watched every single one. I can’t say the ones I didn’t like, but I will say the ones I did,” O’Connor said. “‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ was really funny. And ‘Endgame,’ there were moments when I laughed my head off. I don’t think you were meant to, but there were some insanely funny moments in that. And I cried; Robert Downey Jr. made me cry.”

“Mothering Sunday” will roll out in theaters on Nov. 19 via Sony Pictures Classics.