The synopsis of Precious screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher’s feature directing debut Violet and Daisy sounds straightforward enough: “A brutal fable about a pair of teenage assassins, played by Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel, who believe they’ve landed a straightforward assignment but soon find themselves thrown off their game when their latest target isn’t who they expected.” Evidently, however, that’s not quite what its audience — or even its stars themselves, for that matter — seemed to take away from its Toronto Film Festival premiere.

According to the LAT’s Steve Zeitchik, who caught the confounding screening, it went a little like this:

Overflowing with whimsical dream sequences, cryptic symbolism and surrealist touches (the main characters tool around on a tricycle), Violet & Daisy features flavors that won’t be to everyone’s taste, and it’s hard to imagine a major distributor taking a flier on it. But even its detractors will concede the film has a degree of style and ambition. […]

So bizarre are some of the scenes in Violet & Daisy that at the post-screening Q&A Thursday night, even the actors there to support the film said they found themselves experiencing moments of confusion. “I came in with lots of questions,” Bledel said, “and I still haven’t gotten any answers.”

To a query from one member in the audience, Ronan jumped in with: “There are so many bizarre things in this film, so many things left open, it might be better off not to ask questions.” (Her remark prompted Cameron Bailey, the festival co-director who was moderating the session, to quip, “That kind of ruins the Q&A.”)