Since I wrote about the shortage of names in the Best Actress category, we’ve gotten a few more names to ponder: the newly freed Robin Wright Penn, in “Private Lives of Pippa Lee” was one. Saoirse Ronan in “Lovely Bones,” also. There’s also talk of Charlize Theron in “The Burning Plain.” Some emails came in for Mo’Nique in “Precious,” but I think she’s going in Supporting along with Patricia Clarkson from “Whatever Works,” the “Nine” ladies, and a couple of others.

The names we already discussed are fine, but where are the stars? Julia Roberts punted in “Duplicity.” Nicole Kidman is in the big “Nine” cast of supporting actresses. Hilary Swank may be fine in “Amelia,” but she’s not getting a third Oscar.

The biggest career disappointer is Gwyneth Paltrow. It’s been eleven years since she won for “Shakespeare in Love.” She should have been nominated three times by now. But her career choices have been terrible. She’s better known for fashion and being a famous wife/mother than for acting.

Cate Blanchett is out of the loop this year. She wasted her time with “Benjamin Button,” and had another baby. We are still waiting for her to get a Best Actress statue. It’s unlikely, but maybe for “Robin Hood” next year. Ditto absent this year: Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway, Naomi Watts, and Judi Dench (she’s also supporting in”Nine”).

We need stars, kids. The Oscars can’t survive with just a bunch of earnest newcomers!

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