Cannes- After nearly two weeks of showing stirring, sleek and thought-provoking movies -- and a couple of duds -- the Cannes Film Festival ends Sunday with an awards night to declare the winner of its coveted Palme d'Or.

US directing duo the Coen brothers head a jury of top actors and filmmakers chosen to decide which of the 19 competition entries will walk away with the 20,000-euro ($24,000) gold-and-crystal trophy.

Two runner-up films will also get prizes, along with awards for best director, actor, actress and screenplay. Critics have hailed this year's crop, which revealed a remarkably strong contingent from Italy, two noted Chinese-language pictures, a couple of American features seemingly destined for Oscar acclaim, a raw Holocaust movie and a mixed bag of French fare.

After rule changes in past years, the Palme d'Or cannot be shared and must go to just one of the movies. The awards for best actor and best actress cannot go to performers in the Palme winner.

Usually, the nine members of the jury put their choice of winner on a bit of folded paper in a champagne ice bucket to be drawn out.

"The Sea of Trees", an American melodrama starring Matthew McConaughey and directed by past Palme winner Gus Van Sant, is seen as least likely to figure in their deliberations. Critics unanimously gave the trite movie a thumbs-down.

Likewise, a French movie relating a true tale of 17th-century incest, "Marguerite & Julien", was widely panned. Whichever way the prize ceremony goes, the festival will be remembered for a varied and mostly interesting line-up.