Cannes race wide open as jury tries to pick winning film

The Cannes film festival ends Saturday with the race for the Palme d’Or top prize wide open. With the jury due to begin their deliberations in a villa overlooking the Mediterranean, four films have been heavily tipped by critics as possible winners after a vintage year of top movies.

The Spanish auteur Pedro Almodovar has made the running almost from the start of the 12-day marathon with his most personal film yet, “Pain & Glory”, in which Antonio Banderas plays a ageing gay director not unlike the maker of “All About My Mother”.

Almodovar, 69, has yet to win the Palme d’Or in six attempts, but has brought up the big emotional guns this time, with Penelope Cruz playing his mother.

Whether a jury led by the Oscar-winning Mexican tyro Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu of “Birdman” and “The Revenant” fame will be swayed by such an array of Latin talent remains to be seen.

Nor is there much arguing with the star power of Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood”, which brings Tinseltown’s two most dashing leading men, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, together on screen for the first time.

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