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

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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.