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Asian stars shine - and bore - on the Cannes red carpet

With Gong Li, Li Bingbing, Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively around, there is no shortage of star power at the opening of the Cannes Film Festival on May 11.

Yet something seems to be missing - a certain spark, a certain surge of excitement that a true fashion goddess can cause just by showing up in something outrageously fabulous.

Where are you, Fan Bingbing? Come back. Cannes needs you.


Gong Li poses on the red carpet as she arrives for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film Cafe Society out of competition during the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: REUTERS


Gong Li smiles as she arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP

Gong Li is the queen of "I woke up like this". She wakes up this glorious, so she seldom makes a real effort on the red carpet. She looks good here, but this is also just the celebrity equivalent of slumming it in a basic white dress while on a beach holiday.



Li Bingbing poses as she arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP


Li Bingbing arrives for the screening of Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTOS: EPA, AFP 

Your life is rough when you are the other Bingbing, Li Bingbing. Even when you bring your A game, in a dramatic dress with dazzling white pleats, red carpet commentators will still be looking over your shoulder, looking for Fan Bingbing.



(Left picture) Jesse Eisenberg (left) and Kristen Stewart arrive for the screening of the film Cafe Society during the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. (Right picture) Woody Allen (left) poses with Corey Stoll (centre) and Kristen Stewart during the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTOS: AFP

It's witchy, butchy and very Kristen Stewart. Who else could pull off a Chanel shirt dress on the Cannes red carpet and look too cool for it at the same time?



Julianne Moore poses as she arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP


(Right picture) Julianne Moore (left), Susan Sarandon (centre) and Naomi Watts pose during the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes. PHOTOS: EPA, AFP

Speaking of witchy, here's the charming Julianne Moore, encircled by sequinned cobras. She is with her bodyguard - sorry, Susan Sarandon - and Naomi Watts.



(Left picture) Cast member Blake Lively poses on the red carpet as she arrives for the opening ceremony and the screening of the film Cafe Society, during the 69th Cannes Film Festival. (Right picture) Blake Lively poses during the photocall for Cafe Society at the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTOS: REUTERS, EPA

Blake Lively dresses her baby bump in a figure-hugging Versace gown and a flattering Juan Carlos Obando jumpsuit.



Victoria Beckham arrives for the screening of Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA

Victoria Beckham is a serious fashion designer these days. This is her in her serious fashion uniform, a simple black-and-white look that works at weddings, funerals and everything else in between.



(Left picture) Jury members Mads Mikkelsen (left), Vanessa Paradis (centre) and Arnaud Desplechin pose as they arrive for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. (Right picture) Vanessa Paradis poses on the red carpet of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS 


Kirsten Dunst arrives for the screening of Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. 
PHOTO: EPA


British-Thai actress Araya A. Hargate aka Chompoo (centre) arrives for the screening of Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA

Vanessa Paradis, Kirsten Dunst and Araya A. Hargate: pretty, prettier and prettiest in pink. French singer Paradis can do waifish chic in her sleep, however, so this is just her sleepwalking in a beautiful tablecloth. Dunst's dress, with enormous embroidered blooms, is more high-impact. But British-Thai actress Hargate takes the cake, sweeping onto the red carpet in a tsunami of pink ruffles. Fan Bingbing's heart would swell with pride if she were to see Hargate.



Chinese actress Zhao Tao arrives for the Opening Dinner (left) and screening of Cafe Society (right) during the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTOS: EPA


Woody Allen (left) and his wife Soon-Yi Previn pose as they arrive for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA


Dutch model Doutzen Kroes poses as she arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP 


Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat arrives for the screening of Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA 


Justin Timberlake arrives for the screening of Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA


Anna Kendrick poses as she arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP


Naomi Watts arrives for the screening of Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA


Italian model Bianca Balti arrives for the screening of Cafe Society and the Opening Ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA


Jessica Chastain and French actor Vincent Lindon arrive for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP 


Eva Longoria poses as she arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP 


Australian director and President of the Jury George Miller (left) and Danish actor and member of the Jury Mads Mikkelsen arrive for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP 


Susan Sarandon poses as she arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP


Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP


French actress Frederique Bel poses as she arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP


French actress Gaia Weiss arrives for opening ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA


US model Bella Hadid arrives for the opening ceremony of the 69th annual Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: EPA


Actor Jesse Eisenberg (right) and actress Kristen Stewart pose as they arrive for the opening ceremony of the 69th Cannes Film Festival. PHOTO: AFP