Frances McDormand Anchors Nomadland, a Quietly Powerful Vision of What America Ought to Be

The phrase “homeless person” is used so often, and so carelessly, that it’s almost as familiar as bland descriptors like “brown hair” or “blue eyes.” An individual who, for whatever reason, ceases to live in a house or an apartment somehow becomes transformed into an unidentifiable Other, a person for whom we have no convenient compartment. “Who was she before she was homeless?” we might ask ourselves when we see someone living on the street. The not-so-subtle subtext is that …

I May Destroy You’s Extraordinary Finale Makes Good on the Show’s Cryptic Title

I May Destroy You is a cryptic title. It could be a threat, a warning or merely an observation. But throughout Michaela Coel’s phenomenal HBO series, whose finale aired on Monday, the phrase functions more like a collection of questions. Who is speaking here, and to whom—who is the “I,” and who is the “you”? Does “may” mean “might,” or does it imply the granting of permission? Even “destroy” has some ambiguity; are we talking about fully obliterating a person …