And so we close AFP's live report on the 65th Cannes film festival awards. To sum up:
-- The top prize, the prestigious Palme d'Or, went to "Amour", the wrenching tale of an elderly man caring for his dying wife, by Austrian director Michael Haneke. Haneke's duo of octogenarian French actors, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, bowled Cannes over in the tale of two retired music teachers whose adoring relationship is tested when she suffers a stroke and dementia.
-- Cannes' best actor award went to Danish heart-throb Mads Mikkelsen, who played a man falsely accused of molesting a child in the psychological thriller "The Hunt".
-- Two Romanian actresses, Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, shared the best actress prize for their roles in Cristian Mungiu's "Beyond the Hills", about a young nun and her friend who falls victim to deadly "exorcism".
1849 GMT: Also notable by their absence were a string of Hollywood stars, including Brad Pitt, who last year took home best actor for "The Tree of Life". This time he stars as a hitman in "Killing Them Softly", by Australian director Andrew Dominik, an anti-capitalist gangster movie which had been well received by the critics.
Matthew McConaughey, who had wowed the festival as an outlaw hero in the Huckleberry Finn-like tale "Mud", also missed out on best actor.
1838 GMT: Stars have filtered away now as the festival draws to a close. Among those disappointed will doubtless be French director Jacques Audiard and cast of "Rust and Bone". Starring Marion Cottilard as a whale trainer who lost her legs in a tragic accident, the film was widely seen as being in the running for either best director or actress.
1815 GMT: Haneke spoke to Canal Plus TV after the ceremony with his reaction to the win. "I'm delighted, it's amazing," he said.
Jean-Louis Trintignant said he had seen Haneke's film "Hidden" with Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil and despite not watching films much, was really impressed. Some time afterwards, Haneke asked him to work with him and he accepted. "He has changed the method of cinema," Trintignant said.
Haneke joins a select group of directors who have won the Palme d'Or twice. These include US director Francis Ford Coppola, Denmark's Bille August, Serbia's Emir Kusturica, Japan's Shohei Imamura and the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
1810 GMT: On stage with Haneke were the stars of the film Jean-Louis Trinignant and Emmanuelle Riva, both in their eighties, who bowled critics over as a devoted husband caring for his dying wife.
1758 GMT: Starring French acting legend Jean-Louis Trintignant, the French-language film beat off 21 other movies to claim Cannes gold for Haneke, known for his intellectual, often emotionally gruelling arthouse pictures including "The Piano Teacher".
The cast gather on stage amid loud, rhythmic clapping of hands.
1757 GMT: Austrian director Haneke, who won the Palme d'Or three years ago for "The White Ribbon", had been hotly tipped for the top prize.
His wrenching drama "Amour" is a tale of love in the face of mortality, through the lives of two elderly retired music teachers whose relationship is tested by dementia.
Haneke, with a shaggy white beard and grey hair, issues a gracious long list of thanks to many people including the actors in the film, calling it "their film."
Referring to his wife of 30 years, the 70-year-old director says: "This film is an illustration of the promise we made to each other, if either one of us finds ourselves in the situation that is described in the film."
1752 GMT: PALME D'OR GOES TO "AMOUR" by Michael Haneke, who gets a standing ovation.
1751 GMT: Next up, Audrey Tautou and Adrien Brody -- sporting a debonair moustache and midnight blue tuxedo -- to present the big one, the Palme d'Or...
1750 GMT: Leila Hatami ("A Separation") is up now wearing a stylish scarf in her hair and red flower at the waist, adding a splash of colour to white blouse and black skirt. She presents the Grand Prix -- the runner's up prize in the competition -- to "Reality", by Matteo Garrone Italian director.
The Italian tragicomedy features a jailed former mafia hitman as a man driven mad by a quest to become a reality TV star.
1746 GMT: Now the Best actress award, presented by US actor Alec Baldwin. He says: "There are days like this when it is hard to be an actor. You have to come to Cannes, you have to wear a tuxedo?" and present an award to an actress.
The prize goes to Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur for their parts in "Beyond the Hills", by Romania's Cristian Mungiu. The film is inspired by the 2005 case of a young woman who died during an attempted exorcism at a remote monastery and is one of many weighty dramas in the competition.
1745 GMT: Gong Li, the Chinese-born actress from Singapore is on stage to present the best actor award. And it goes to... Mads Mikkelsen for his role in "The Hunt". He shares it with his wife and with the film's Danish director Thomas Vinterberg, best known as one of the founders of the Dogme 95 movement
Mikkelsen is best known to international audiences as Le Chiffre in 2006's the James Bond sequel "Casino Royale".
1739 GMT: Best director award, presented by Tim Roth, is won by Mexican director Carlos Reygadas for "Post Tenebras Lux", a family drama heralded for its surreal touches, which drew comparisons with Luis Bunuel.
1735 GMT: The Best screenplay award goes to "Beyond the Hills", by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu. He won the 2007 Palme d'Or for his abortion drama "4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days". This time it's a true story about a deadly exorcism.
1735 GMT: Chairman of the jury veteran Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti is joined on stage by members of his jury including US director Alexander Payne, French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, British actor Ewan McGregor.
1734 GMT: "The Angel's Share" is a bittersweet comedy set in Glasgow, about four offenders sentenced to community service who decide that stealing a cask of priceless, rare whisky could be their ticket to a better life.
Loach makes a valiant effort speaking faltering French at the start of his acceptance speech. Says he would "like us to send our solidarity" to those facing austerity measures in the face of economic hardship.
1731 GMT: Next is the Jury Prize -- the third prize in the competition -- and it goes to "The Angel's Share", by veteran British director Ken Loach. It's his 11th film in the competition and the only British film in this year's line-up.
1728 GMT: The Camera d'Or is presented by Spanish film director Carlos Saura and French actress Ludivine Sagnier. It goes to "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" directed by US director Benh Zeitlin, who receives the award to rapturous applause and seems briefly lost for words before accepting. He called it an "award for courage and faith".
1724 GMT: Kylie presents the Short Film Palme d'Or, to Turkey's L. Rezan Yesilbas for "Sessiz-Be Deng" (Silent).
1719 GMT: Kylie Minogue up now...
1717 GMT: "The Artist" star Bérénice Bejo, mistress of ceremonies, arrives on stage and the awards begin. She makes a few pleasant opening comments, ending "nothing can stop cinema, and certainly not the rain".
1713 GMT: The cast of Claude Miller's "Therese Desqueyroux" arrive en masse, notably Gilles Lellouche, Audrey Tatou, and Anaïs Desmoutier. Miller's last film before he died, it was aptly the closing film of the festival.
Audrey Tautou's immaculate crimped hair and gold dress are protected from the rain by a huge umbrella as she heads inside the auditorium.
1706 GMT: Kylie Minogue is on the croisette. She features in a bit part as a suicidal singing air hostess in "Holy Motors", by French comeback director Leos Carax. If you think that sounds weird, you'd be right.
1659 GMT: Mads Mikkelsen soaked for the second time in a week, adds Cole. Mikkelsen is tipped as a possible for this year's best actor for his role as a man falsely accused of molesting a child in "The Hunt", a thriller by Denmark's Thomas Vinterberg.
1654 GMT: Crowd goes wild as last year's best actor winner Jean Dujardin ("The Artist") arrives on red carpet, tweets AFP's Deborah Cole#Cannes.
1650 GMT: With the award ceremony less than an hour away, there is no clear-cut winner for the top prize, the Palme d'Or, out of the 22 films in the mix.
Austrian director Michael Haneke looks like a strong contender though for his wrenching tale of love and mortality, "Amour".
16:40 GMT: Forget sun-drenched French Riviera glamour. It is bucketing it down in Cannes. Guests are arriving armed with umbrellas against a backdrop of storms and dark clouds. It's been raining for two hours, reports AFP's Laurence Coustal. The red carpet is littered with umbrellas, beautiful dresses adorned with plastic bags covering well-coiffed heads.
Welcome to AFP's live report on the final night of the Cannes film festival. We'll be bringing you all the glitz and glamour from the red carpet on the French Riviera and following the award ceremony to reveal who will take home the coveted Palme d'Or in this 65th anniversary year.
AFPTV will also be streaming live footage of the event for the first time on -- http://www.dailymotion.com/afpenglish#video=xr125y
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