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As Cannes Film Festival nears end, who will win the top prize?

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By Miranda Murray

CANNES, France, May 25 (Reuters) -A Donald Trump biopic, a musical about a Mexican cartel boss and Francis Ford Coppola's long-time passion project are just some of the films competing for the Cannes Film Festival's top prize as the glamorous fest comes to a close on Saturday evening.

Jury president Greta Gerwig, the director behind last summer's pink-hued hit "Barbie," will decide along with eight others which of the 22 films to award the Palme d'Or.

Jury members including U.S. actor Lily Gladstone and Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-Eda have said they are well-aware their decision could make or break a director's career.

Coppola's much-hyped sci-fi epic "Megalopolis," starring Adam Driver, elicited a mix of opinions when it premiered last Thursday.

However, it's "Emilia Perez," with Selena Gomez and Zoe Saldana, that is most heavily favoured to take the prize.

Critics were positively surprised with its musical numbers about a Mexican drug lord who transitions from male to female and opens a nonprofit to look into disappeared people.

Cannes has given particular love to old Hollywood names this year, Coppola included, with Meryl Streep and George Lucas receiving honorary lifetime awards, and George Miller and Kevin Costner invited to premiere their new films out of competition.

Additionally, established filmmakers Yorgos Lanthimos, David Cronenberg and Paul Schrader created plenty of excitement with their competition entries, but their chances look unpromising.

Other strong contenders include "All We Imagine As Light," India's first competition film in 30 years, as well as "Anora," Sean Baker's darkly funny drama about an erotic dancer in New York and the Demi Moore-led body horror "The Substance."

"The Apprentice," about former U.S. president Donald Trump, and "The Seed of the Sacred Fig" by exiled Iranian director Mohammad Rasoulof boosted attention thanks to their topicality, despite festival director Thierry Fremaux lamenting an increased focus on political and social issues in the industry.

The 77th iteration of the festival began on May 14.

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Reporting by Miranda Murray in Cannes
Editing by Matthew Lewis


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