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Table of Contents

November 28, 2016 Issue

Cover Story

Our First Lady of Sorrows

Natalie Portman dons a pillbox hat for the role of a lifetime. By Boris Kachka
On the Cover: Natalie Portman. Photograph by Alex Prager for New York Magazine.

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Lego Is the Perfect Toy

How did a piece of plastic retain its progressive cred while embracing “conflict play”? By Genevieve Smith

Let’s See How Alive We Can Be

Elizabeth Gilbert was already having a crazy year. By Jessica Pressler


The Kleptocracy Preps for Pennsylvania Avenue

Conflicts so brazen and unprecedented they already feel like old news.

Should We Be Angry or Optimistic?

Mulling the point of protest.

Maybe the Internet Is Just Terrible After All

Fake news is the easiest of the problems to fix.

How to Take Back the Counterculture

The Obama years were too soft anyway.

This Woman’s Place

My plan for helping white male liberals.

The Urbanist: The Frankenmansion

Megahouses smack in the heart of the city are sprouting up all over the globe. And they’re not all built for Russian oligarchs.

Reread: November 15, 2004

The mood after Bush beat Kerry, and the ways our writers thought about it.

The Cut

Just Pretty

Because there are worse things to ponder than a beautiful dress.

Gift Guide

The Gift Guide 2016

Over 200 gifts for every price: from a tortoiseshell toothbrush to a stream in Georgia, with a gravity-defying tray (and a book of tweets, and a python skateboard, and a personal food truck, etc.) in between.

For the Home

A strippy hammock, doughnut pipes, a super-pillow, and more.

For Foodies

Bespoke caviar, Four Seasons–style tableware, watermelon brandy, and more.

For the Fashion-Forward

A comfortable party dress, Versace slippers, waterproof Chucks, and more.

For Under $50

From a $1 red lipstick to a $50 wooden coffeemaker, with plenty of enamel pins, bottles of booze, and next-level home goods in between.

For Gadget Heads

An old-school Nintendo, olfactory alarm clock, VR headset, and more.

For Kids of All Ages

Must-have toys, dressy sneakers, cuddly llama, and more

For the Luxury Seeker

Fancy face dust, a leather-bound manicure set, anti-aging cream made from your own blood, and more.

For the Adventurous

A butchering class with April Bloomfield, two nights in a Nintendo Game, a morning alone at the Met, and more.

For the Charitable

A wide range of timely charities to donate to.


The Everywhere Man

Michael Shannon on a year, and a career, as a director’s secret weapon.

The Close-up

Finally, in Lion, Nicole Kidman gets to nurture.

My Toughest Scene

8 early Oscar contenders break down their biggest onscreen challenges.

Barry Jenkins’s Big Moment

The director of Moonlight thought he’d fled his past, then he accidentally made a movie about it.

The Special Sauce in La La Land

Writer-director Damien Chazelle and star Emma Stone take us through the movie's tricky party scene.

Pharrell Williams vs. Hans Zimmer

The Hidden Figures composers on what they learned from each other.

How Crash Shocked the Oscars (And the World)

An oral history of a Big Picture surprise.

The Movie Review

La La Land is a musical tour de force.

The Movie Review

Jackie is brutally intimate.

The Movie Review

Moonglow is a brilliant work of fiction — buried under a turgidly written memoir.

The Book Review

Michael Chabon’s memoir-fantasia of the OSS Years.

To Do: November 30–December 14, 2016

Twenty-five things to see, hear, watch, and read.


Comments: Week of November 28, 2016

Readers sound off on a Trump presidency, race’s role in the 2016 presidential election, and more.

The Approval Matrix: Week of November 28, 2016

Our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies.

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