Leisure

Reviews and think pieces on music, movies, art, and theater.



Music

Dominic Fike rises above the pressure to deliver a masterful debut with What Could Possibly Go Wrong

Dominic Fike’s long-awaited first full-length album, What Could Possibly Go Wrong (2020), came out two and a half years after his hit EP, Don’t Forget About Me, Demos. The new... Read more

Movies

Chemical Hearts trivializes mental illness with its doomed love story

Chemical Hearts (2020) may be a romance, but it was never supposed to be a love story. Based on Kyrstal Sutherland’s novel Our Chemical Hearts, the film follows the doomed... Read more

Movies

Irresistible offers political commentary for 2019, in 2020

As the 2020 election draws closer, ads humanizing wealthy politicians start to fill television screens once more. Inboxes are cluttered with donation requests, and campaign speeches hitting just the right... Read more

Music

Bombay Bicycle Club creates an acoustic escape in Two Lives EP

The first Bombay Bicycle Club song I ever listened to was a soft acoustic track called “You Already Know.” I would play it while on the train, imagining the road... Read more

Music

Raleigh Ritchie’s Andy matches wit with honest introspection

Jacob Anderson isn’t the artist you might expect. Most well known for playing the taciturn warrior Grey Worm on HBO’s Game of Thrones, the familiar actor might give most folks... Read more

Music

Jeremy Zucker’s love is not dying is desolate yet compelling

I’m not sure if the universe could have cooked up a more fitting album for our current situation than Jeremy Zucker’s solo debut, love is not dying (2020). Throughout the... Read more

Art

Fashioning a Nation shows what America is made of

The National Gallery of Art’s online exhibit Fashioning a Nation is a memorial to the close relationship between two essential facets of culture: history and fashion. Each sketch connects the... Read more

Movies

The Hunt Doesn’t Live Up to the Controversy

Back in July of 2019 the first trailer for The Hunt (2020) dropped online, showing a group of rich, snobby (liberal) elites hunting a bunch of regular (conservative) people, and... Read more

Music

The Weeknd Embraces Darkness on After Hours

In the music video for “Blinding Lights,” The Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, dances maniacally through the empty nighttime streets of Las Vegas. Bandaged and bloodied, he sports a red suit... Read more

Art

Hearts of Our People Represents the Artistic Power of Native Women From Past to Present

Content warning: This article references sexual assault and suicide. On the wall of the Renwick Gallery there is “Sunshine on a Cannibal.” Rectangular canvases placed closely together create a jarring... Read more

Music

Dua Lipa Makes Pristine, yet Superficial, Bops on Future Nostalgia

When I first listened to Dua Lipa’s self-titled debut album, its opening lyrics made me swoon. Lipa starts the song “Genesis” with, “In the beginning, God created Heaven and Earth... Read more

Movies

Kelly Reichardt Pioneers a New American Western with First Cow

First Cow opens with a huge, rusty barge floating down the Columbia River at a glacial pace. Between the vessel’s entrance from the left of the screen and eventual exit... Read more

Leisure

Eight Perfect Murders Stops Just Short of Perfection

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson follows Malcolm Kershaw, co-owner of a mystery bookshop in Boston known as Old Devils Bookstore. The story opens with a fictional disclaimer framing the... Read more

Movies

Wendy’s Escape to Neverland is Joyful and Sincere

“Peter means something different to every person. We all have an idea of what that story means and who he is. And it has so much to do with how... Read more

Movies

Onward Takes Viewers on a Personal, if Uneven, Quest

Pixar’s new fantasy adventure flick Onward (2020) is surprisingly poignant. “It’s probably the most personal film we’ve ever made at Pixar,” Kelsey Mann, the studio’s Head of Story, said in... Read more

Movies

The Burnt Orange Heresy Is A Beautiful Film That Spirals Out Of Control

“You ever wonder, when something is just starting, how it’s going to end?” remarks tourist Berenice Hollis (Elizabeth Debicki) to art critic James Figueras (Claes Bang) after having sex in... Read more

Music

Chelsea Cutler Teaches The Fillmore Silver Spring How To Be Human

If you were to imagine a 23-year-old in sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt, you would assume she is relaxing at home. Never would it occur that she would be performing... Read more

Music

Grimes Celebrates Darker Sound and Gothic Doom in Miss Anthropocene

In the aftermath of her transition from a DIY, counter-culture feminist to Elon Musk’s goth popstar girlfriend, Grimes has released Miss Anthropocene (2020). Though her ecological thesis gets lost in... Read more

Performance

Simplistic but Stirring: Bandstand at the National Theatre Offers Lovely Homage to WWII

As the lights dim on the elaborately crafted nightclub for the show’s opening, a jarring flash of white light jolts the audience awake. An ensemble of soldiers stands onstage, their... Read more

Movies

Cunning and Absurd: EMMA. Finds Meaning in Frivolity

“I would like to see Emma in love. And in some doubt of a return. It would do her good.” In one of his first on-screen appearances, Mr. Knightley (Johnny... Read more