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The Ten Best Performances Of Hollywood's Most Hideously Overpaid Actresses

By Joanna Robinson | Lists | July 30, 2013 |

By Joanna Robinson | Lists | July 30, 2013 |

Forbes released its annual “Highest Paid Actresses” list today, and while there are a refreshing number of ladies on here that I love and admire, the list is still riddled with names that are … less deserving. Or, to be more accurate, performers who used to be deserving. It must be hard, once you reach a certain strata of stardom, to tap into the vigor and depth of your earlier career. That makes sense. I just hope that the younger actresses on this list hold onto their spark for as long as possible.

But even the actresses that we adore, the ones we would probably pay a million dollars just to share a sandwich with, well, good goddamn they earn a lot of money. This isn’t news, but when the numbers are right there in black and white, it can rankle. So here, to soothe ruffled feathers over the actresses who “don’t belong” and to drown out the pounding in your ears over the price tags in general, are the fondest movie memories I could dredge up. Think on that until the sick feeling passes. Actresses ranked in order of top earners from cheapest to “too rich for my blood.”

Julia Roberts — Mystic Pizza: Before all her toothy “aw shucksing” and painful stabs at deeply dramatic work, Roberts was relatively unknown in this lovely story of three young friends. It’s a strange, sweet little slice of ’80s nostalgia, and Roberts handles all of her beats, both comedic and dramatic, handily.

Mila Kunis — Black Swan: Kunis is one of the up-and-comers on this list, and while she’s not exactly the most astonishing and impressive young actress out there, she completely blew me back in my chair as the hyper-sexual and dangerous foil to Natalie Portman’s Prima ballerina. Perhaps some of the credit needs to go to Aronofsky for drawing such darkness out of Kunis. When it comes to comedy, however, she’s always had a charming, off-beat sense of timing. I like her very much. I’m a little surprised to see here here, but if, in the future, she can pull off the same murky magic she tapped into for Black Swan, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her back.
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Natalie Portman — Beautiful Girls: Portman’s debut in The Professional is, of course, quite famous. But it’s this ‘96 charmer that won me over completely. I’ve found most of Portman’s adult work overly mannered (which worked well for her neurotic character in Black Swan), but here she is fresh and charming and utterly winning.

Sandra Bullock — Hope Floats: Yeah, hold onto your butts. I love this movie. But not because of the trite Connick Jr. romance angle. For me, this is a movie about mothers and daughters and generationally sandwiched between the stately and wonderful Gena Rowlands and that freaking acting prodigy Mae Whitman (yes, HER), Bullock turned in one of her finest performances.
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Charlize Theron — The Cider House Rules: I won’t argue with anyone who would rather see Monster in this slot. Certainly that was a tour de force. But Theron is so strangely compelling in this movie. Both untouchably beautiful and completely real. She seems almost unformed, and what better way for a romantic projection to be?

Emma Stone — Crazy, Stupid Love: I really very much wish the scenes between Gosling and Stone were their own short film. It would be one of my favorites of all time. I watch it literally any time it’s on cable. Just the Gosling Stone stuff. She’s impossibly adorable.

Jennifer Aniston — Office Space: As an unabashed “Friends” fan, I’ve never really gotten the massive amount of Aniston hate. I can, however, concede that her movies in general have not been all that impressive, and this this performance, specifically, is the most joyous one on her resume.

Kristen Stewart — Into The Wild: Look! People! She’s almost smiling! You can almost see it! Stewart’s coltish, sullen “charm” fit right in with this spare, rambling film. I actually thought she was quite lovely in it. That’s really the extent of nice things I can muster about Kristen Stewart.

Jennifer Lawrence — Winter’s Bone: Ugh, Jennifer Lawrence is the f*cking BEST. I will not argue. I don’t, however, think that Academy Award should have gone to her. Most F*cking Charming celebrity? Sure. Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook? No. That being said, she was a rockstar in Winter’s Bone. Just incredible to behold.

Angelina Jolie — “Gia”: In light of her recent health issues, I’d be very uncomfortable with insulting Angelina Jolie too much. So I’ll just say this. Wasn’t she amazing once? Before she was so …regal? When she was our Psychopathic Darling? Firefox, Hackers, Girl Interrupted? Nothing could touch her for a while there. I’m not overly fond of what she’s got going on these days, but as a seemingly lovely mother, happy wife and the highest paid woman in Hollywood, I don’t suppose she cares for my opinion.