This week marked the start of the Cannes Film Festival, which means that those of us stuck in America have plenty of reasons to be envious of the beautiful people strutting their stuff on the French Riviera. So take a trip with us while you sit at your desk, waiting out Friday. If you need to console yourself, just remember that last year the festival was a magnet for crime. (All photos via the Associated Press.)

First off, let Nicole Kidman welcome you to the festival. Her film, Grace of Monaco, opened the thing up, after all, and even godawful reviews can't stop a movie star from bringing the glamour to a photo call. 

Not all Cannes attendees grin and bear it, even when their films get good reviews. Case in point, this portrait of Mike Leigh, whose Mr. Turner is one of the festival's hits. 

 At least Rosario Dawson, who is in The Captive, seems to be having a great time. 

The festival's master of ceremonies is French actor Lambert Wilson, who looked pretty cool at his photo call...

...only Jury president Jane Campion looked cooler, striking the same pose.  

Speaking of the jury, here they all are, dolled up on the red carpet for the opening ceremony and Grace of Monaco screening. 

The red carpet shots don't have quite the same vistas as the photo call shots, but there is enough to look at with the gowns. Case in point: Blake Lively, who is making something of a return to the fashion limelight in gowns like the following: 

Also, wowing on the fashion front? Kendall Jenner. Yes, Jenner has made it big enough that she gets to be one of the models attending the film festival for no immediately apparent reason. 

But because this is Cannes there are also some wacky fashions. See, for instance, Karlie Kloss in this Valentino.

And then there's this man dressed as Charlie Chaplin.

Also on display, Toothless, the dragon from How to Train Your Dragon 2, part of this year's "Katzenberg stunt."

And while we're on the subject of bold promotional gestures, here's what the hotel Majestic Barriere looks like.