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London Film Festival top picks: Official Competition

Time Out's critics select five films to look out for in the London Film Festival's Official Competition

The Double

Richard Ayoade’s written the script for ‘The Double’ with Ave Korine (Harmony’s brother), loosely inspired by Dostoyevsky’s novel of the same name. In the book a shy, humble clerk is driven to a breakdown after meeting his doppelgänger – a man who looks just like him but, unlike him, is popular, and confident.

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Like Father, Like Son

The melodramatic premise is as old as the hills: two baby boys – one from a working-class family, the other from a wealthy one – are switched at birth by a hospital nurse, and the parents must face the emotional fallout when the error is discovered six years later.

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‘Parkland’ examines what transpired at Dallas’s Parkland Memorial Hospital in the hours after the shooting of JFK, as first the President then his alleged murderer Lee Harvey Oswald both expired in the same building.

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The Selfish Giant

Inspired by the Oscar Wilde fairytale, ‘The Selfish Giant’ follows two young ruffians, Arbor (Conner Chapman) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas), as they get in ever deeper with a cantankerous, potentially dangerous scrap merchant with the unlikely name of Kitten (Sean Gilder).

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Under the Skin

An adaptation of Michel Faber's novel about a mysterious hitchhiker stalking the Scottish countryside. Played by Scarlett Johansson, this enigmatic traveller is in fact an alien, sent to Earth to prey on our species.

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Instituted last year, the LFF’s Official Competition strand rewards the year’s most original and exciting films. This year’s contenders range from reliable world cinema old-timers like Catherine Breillat and Hirokazu Kore-eda to homegrown up-and-comers like Richard Ayoade and Clio Barnard.