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Swinton, an Oscar winner for “Michael Clayton,” is considered a front-runner for Cannes’ best-actress prize for “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” in which she plays the guilt-ridden, grieving mother whose son carried out a school massacre.

A past member of film juries, Swinton said awards make for an aggravating end to the cinema celebration that is Cannes.

“Juries have this rather strange task of giving prizes, but that’s never the most important thing,” Swinton said. “In my experience you go to see a lot of films and have fantastic conversations with people, and then there’s this noxious process where you have to choose.”

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Associated Press reporters Jenny Barchfield and Jill Lawless contributed to this report.