CANNES WATCH:

CANNES, France (AP) — The 68th Cannes Film Festival was going out in style this weekend, with Marion Cotillard drawing raves on both carpet and screen at the "Macbeth" premiere and the very cool entourage from the LA indie "Dope" continuing to wow the fest as anticipation grew for Sunday's Palme d'Or finale.

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QUEEN OF THE CARPET

Marion Cotillard plays a queen in Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth," but at its Cannes premiere she was also a bejeweled queen of the red carpet.

In a blue-and-rose truncated minidress from Dior's haute couture spring-summer 2015 collection, Cotillard sparkled Saturday as she posed alongside co-star Michael Fassbender, thanks to the outfit's myriad embroidered pailettes and jewels.

The Oscar-winner, who's known for her fashion-forward style, bucked the trend for classical va-va-voom and voluminous dresses that have been popular during this year's Cannes Film Festival.

Although the look showed off the 39-year-old's enviable legs, she might have benefited from a scarf, as the overcast Cannes sky caused a rather chilly spell.

— By Thomas Adamson, Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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A BLOODY, STYLISH 'MACBETH'

Something wicked came the way of the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday when Justin Kurzel premiered his bloody, stylish adaptation of "Macbeth" with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

Cannes hailed the premiere of the Australian director's interpretation of the Shakespeare tragedy, the final film to screen in competition at the festival, which concludes Sunday. The film, among the most eagerly awaited at Cannes, is a grimly visceral adaptation of "Macbeth," shot partly in Scotland, striking in the bleak beauty of its earthy violence.

To play the Scottish warrior, Fassbender gravitated to the idea that Macbeth suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He credited Kurzel for making the connection to contemporary warfare.

"That changed everything for me," Fassbender told reporters Saturday. "We know from soldiers today coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan that describe post-traumatic stress disorder and the fact that they have these hallucinations. They can be walking down the street here, the Croisette, and the next thing, it's Basra."

Cotillard drew the loudest raves for her Lady Macbeth. Hers is a tender version of the character, not the manipulative monster often depicted.

— By AP Film Writer Jake Coyle, http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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PALME D'OR UP FOR GRABS AHEAD OF FEST FINALE

A week and a half of French Riviera frenzy comes down to, as it always does, wild conjecture.

The 68th Cannes Film Festival concludes Sunday with the awarding of its top honor, the prestigious Palme d'Or, as well as a handful of other distinctions.

Few trophies in movies are more sought after than the Palme d'Or, but, unlike the Academy Awards, which whittles its field down to a few favorites over the course of months, Cannes winners are chosen clandestinely by a jury.

The mystery adds much suspense.

Throughout the festival, the jury, led by Joel and Ethan Coen, has quietly slipped in and out of theaters. Their deliberations are private, but that doesn't stop the world's media from endlessly debating the possible preferences of the Coens and fellow jurors Guillermo del Toro, Jake Gyllenhaal, Sienna Miller, Sophie Marceau, Xavier Dolan, Rokia Traore and Rossy de Palma.

All of the 19 films in competition could feasibly walk away with the Palme d'Or, but a handful of perceived favorites have emerged.

— By Film Writer Jake Coyle, http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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'DOPE' SENSATION CONTINUES AT CANNES

A year ago, writer-director Rick Famuyiwa was struggling to find financing for his film after studios in Hollywood passed on it. Now, he's sitting in a restaurant at Cannes riding the sensation of "Dope," his comic Los Angeles coming-of-age tale that sparked a bidding war this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

"It's pretty freaking awesome," Famuyiwa says, tipping back his white fedora. "Here we are less than a year later. It's been crazy from Sundance to here. I haven't quite gotten any perspective on it yet, but I'm enjoying the moment."

"Dope" premiered Friday in the Cannes Film Festival's Directors' Fortnight section with most of its young cast enthusiastically in tow. While many indies that make it to Cannes arrive with a small retinue, "Dope" is here in full force — and some cast members even paid their own way to come.

"Dope" is a buoyant, stereotype-busting high-school movie about a geek (Moore) in Inglewood, California, who's aiming to get into Harvard but is thrust into a rollicking adventure when drug dealers looking for a hiding place stuff his backpack full of Ecstasy.

The close bond between the cast comes partly out of the unlikeliness of their journey. "Dope" was made last summer in a rapid 24-day shoot around Los Angeles.

"We were making something we all believe in," says Famuyiwa.

— By Film Writer Jake Coyle, http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAP

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ICELANDIC FILM WINS UN CERTAIN REGARD PRIZE

"Rams," a drama set among farmers and their sheep in a remote Icelandic valley, won the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard competition on Saturday.

Jury president Isabella Rossellini said Grimur Hakonarson's film was being honored for "treating in a masterful, tragicomic way the undeniable bond that links all humans to animals."

There were 19 films in the Un Certain Regard competition, which honors new directors and more offbeat films than those up for Cannes' main Palme d'Or prize.

The second-place Jury Prize went to Croatian director Dalibor Matanic for "Zvizdan" ("The High Sun"), which explores love and ethnic hatred in the Balkans. Matanic dedicated the prize to his producer, his wife and his soon-to-be-born daughter.

"I hope she will live in a better and far more tolerant world," he said.

The jury bestowed the directing prize on Kiyoshi Kurosawa for "Journey to the Shore," and also gave awards to "Treasure," by Romania's Corneliu Porumboiu, "Nahid" by Iranian director Ida Panahandeh and "Masaan" by India's Neeraj Ghaywan.

— By Jill Lawless, http://Twitter.com/JillLawless

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POWERFUL FILM HUMANIZES MIGRANTS

It may be the most topical film at Cannes — but "Mediterranea" — a searing account of a desperate African migrant who travels by boat from Burkina Faso to Italy — is not just pulled from the headlines.

It's been years in the making and is based on a true story.

First time director Jonas Carpignano — who's half African-American, half-Italian — evoked the real-life experiences of his roommate and lead actor in the film, Koudous Seihon.

Seihon witnessed shootings, race riots, violence and faced near-constant discrimination after he took the perilous trip by foot, car, bus and boat to southern Italy as a 20-year-old father seeking to support his family.

Despite its small 1 million-euro ($1.1 million) budget, Carpignano's film, which was screened at the Critics Week, has already garnered great attention for its highly personal portrayal of Europe's great migrant crisis.

"We're constantly bombarded and desensitized (about migrants). That's why I wanted to make a film about this, to give people something to latch on to," Carpignano said. "It doesn't help to constantly group immigrants as just migrants coming over. There has to be more of a personal angle."

— By Thomas Adamson, Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP

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LOVE BATTLES REVENGE IN REFUGEE DRAMA

For much of its running time, Jacques Audiard's "Dheepan," which premiered at Cannes, is a gritty and naturalistic depiction of Tamil refugees trying to build a new life in France.

That's a long way from where the project began, as a remake of Sam Peckinpah's violent revenge thriller, "Straw Dogs."

"That was the origin of the origin," Audiard said. "At the beginning, it was a kind of vigilante movie."

The French director has long mixed genre-movie conventions and tough real-world subjects into powerful and distinctive films. His international breakthrough, "A Prophet," reinvented the prison drama, while follow-up "Rust and Bone" was inspired by B-movie melodramas.

"For me, genre is a Trojan Horse," Audiard said — a way of smuggling surprises past the audience's defenses.

This year's Cannes festival features several films by directors working in second languages, including the English-language debuts of Italy's Paolo Sorrentino ("Youth"), Greece's Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Lobster") and Mexico's Michel Franco ("Chronic").

— By Jill Lawless, http://Twitter.com/JillLawless

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EDITOR'S NOTE — "Cannes Watch" brings you the excitement of the Cannes Film Festival and related events through the reporting of AP journalists on the ground. Follow them on Twitter with the handles listed after each item. Longer versions of most items have also moved.


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