The Silent Treatment

“Shut up and smile” is generally good advice for guys who tend to screw up dates by saying something overly candid, or revealing, or just plain stupid. (Uh, we’ve got a friend like that.) It helps, though, if you can beam like Jean Dujardin, whose dazzling set of bright-white choppers framed by an impeccable pencil-thin ‘stache -- backed by a talent for elegant dancing and endearing physical comedy -- carried him to the dais to collect the Best Actor Oscar for The Artist. Assembled from a repertoire of facial expressions, hand gestures, and body language, Dujardin’s wonderfully confident (though occasionally bathetic) performance precluded line readings because, as you know, The Artist is a silent film. French writer-director Michel Hazanavicius, whose OSS 117 movies with Dujardin are clever, winking homages to sexist ‘60s-era secret agents, didn’t settle for a clever, winking homage to pre-sound Hollywood. The Artist is a movie about the pleasures of moviemaking and movie-watching, which makes it a terrific choice for the Film Night in the Park series. A perfect choice, actually: For once, the usual annoyances of banal conversations, crinkling snack bags and traffic noise won’t interfere with your viewing experience. Doesn’t that put a smile on your face?
Sat., July 14, 5 p.m., 2012

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