The Atlantic’s Week in Culture

A roundup of our recent writing on arts and entertainment

Mary Tyler Moore accepts the Lifetime Achievement award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2012. (Mark J. Terrill / AP)

Don’t Miss

Remembering Mary Tyler MooreDavid Sims looks back on the inimitable career of the actress, who died this week aged 80.



The Oscar Nominations: La La Land, Moonlight, and Arrival DominateDavid Sims analyzes all the major contenders at this year’s Academy Awards.

I, Daniel Blake Satirizes a Brutal BureaucracyDavid Sims watches Ken Loach’s Kafkaesque new movie, which follows the story of one man navigating Britain’s welfare system.

Deciphering the Bizarre Twist Ending of SplitDavid Sims unpacks the final scene of M. Night Shyamalan’s newest movie.

There Are No Easy Answers in Beware the SlendermanLenika Cruz delves into the unsettling HBO documentary, which follows the case of two Wisconsin girls who stabbed their friend.

A Marriage Crumbles in the Gripping Iranian Drama The SalesmanDavid Sims praises the latest film from the Oscar-winning director Asghar Farhadi.

The Elegant Simplicity of The Red TurtleChristopher Orr reviews the beautifully sparse new film from the Oscar-winning animator Michaël Dudok de Wit.

How Amazon Got a Best Picture Oscar NominationDavid Sims explains why the tech giant is the first online streaming service to receive an Academy Award nod.

Indie Films to Look Forward to in 2017David Sims casts an eye on all the exciting, smaller-scale movies coming to cinemas in the new year.

C. Stanley Photography / Arena Stage


Roe: Can a Play Influence the Abortion Debate?Sophie Gilbert analyzes a new production about the legendary Supreme Court case, which opens during a time of renewed uncertainty over a woman’s right to choose.

Brian Woolston / Reuters

Women’s March on Washington

The Inauguration, and the Counter-InaugurationMegan Garber follows the Women’s March on Washington, a protest that in its own way marked a peaceful transition of power.

How Madonna Gave Trump Ammo With a Cry for PeaceSpencer Kornhaber discusses the pop star’s controversial comments during a speech at the Women’s March on Washington.



Saturday Night Live Faces Off Against the Trump PresidencySophie Gilbert recaps the sketch show’s first episode of the new administration.

In Praise of Corinne, The Bachelor’s Human Conspiracy TheoryMegan Garber deciphers the reality show’s most enigmatic contestant.

The Divine Comedy Within The Young PopeSpencer Kornhaber unravels the humor of the new HBO show starring Jude Law.

Losing Faith in The Path, Hulu’s Cult-Set DramaSophie Gilbert points to why the show may prove everything that’s wrong with streaming TV.

Lucy Nicholson / Reuters


On Pitying MelaniaMegan Garber sifts through all the memes, jokes, and fan fictions surrounding the first lady.

Renata Raksha


The Month in Music About Loving Your Fellow HumanSpencer Kornhaber listens to new albums by The xx, Japandroids, and Austra that imagine personal and political utopias.

Escape to the Future With Missy Elliott and JamiroquaiSpencer Kornhaber discusses the sci-fi visions of two music-video legends, who returned with new songs and accompanying visuals.   

Signet Classics / Amazon


1984 Isn’t the Only Book Enjoying a RevivalSophie Gilbert analyzes some of the titles that have had a popular spike over the past year, in the wake of a divisive election.

The Book That Bettered AmericaMegan Garber traces the significance of Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection to American evolution, as explained by Randal Fuller’s latest book.

Brennan Linsley / AP


Why Christo Cancelled an Epic Public ArtworkKriston Capps expands on how the artist’s decision to abandon his expansive Arkansas River project is the latest, biggest creative protest against Trump.