Jurassic Park’s Best Special Effect: Laura Dern’s Mouth

Slate's Culture Blog
May 23 2014 2:52 PM

Jurassic Park’s Best Special Effect: Laura Dern’s Mouth

Dern_GIF

Stills from Jurassic Park © Universal Pictures. GIF by TheTzu.

As I argued in detail earlier this week, the new Godzilla takes its DNA from early Spielberg movies like Jurassic Park, repurposing many of that 20-year-old blockbuster’s best set pieces within the now state of the art Godzilla franchise. But there’s one secret weapon that Jurassic Park has that Godzilla doesn’t: Laura Dern’s remarkably expressive, almost acrobatic mouth.

This GIF resurfaced this week after Godzilla’s release (I tip my hat to @aliarikan), and I asked its creator, Reddit user TheTzu, if we could share it on Slate. TheTzu said he was inspired by a blog about Dern’s face, perhaps this one, and he assembled it from stills from that site as well as elsewhere. Taken together, it’s a reminder that no matter how much CGI you can afford, few effects are as powerful as an old-fashioned close-up of the human face—especially if you have an extraordinary face.

Previously
When Should You Show the Monster? The Rules of “Cinematic Foreplay”
Is Godzilla Male or Female?
A Brief History of Godzilla

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

History

The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The Supreme Court, Throughout Its History, Has Been a Massive Disappointment

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 12:04 PM John Hodgman on Why He Wore a Blue Dress to Impersonate Ayn Rand
  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Sept. 30 2014 2:36 PM This Court Erred The Supreme Court has almost always sided with the wealthy, the privileged, and the powerful.
  Business
Building a Better Workplace
Sept. 30 2014 1:16 PM You Deserve a Pre-cation The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.
  Life
Education
Sept. 30 2014 1:48 PM Thrashed Florida State’s new president is underqualified and mistrusted. But here’s how he can turn it around.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 2:56 PM How Faithful Is David Fincher’s Gone Girl?
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 2:38 PM Scientists Use Electrical Impulses to Help Paralyzed Rats Walk Again
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 30 2014 7:30 AM What Lurks Beneath the Methane Lakes of Titan?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.