Elaine Blair

Elaine Blair is a regular contributor to The New York Review. (June 2015)

  • Love Objects

    January 16, 2014

    In Spike Jonze’s Her, the casting of youth and beauty is an artistic failure that compromises the film’s larger artistic achievement.

  • Single Women and the Sitcom

    January 3, 2013

    Like any kind of comedy, a sitcom can have a marriage at its very end, but a marriage somewhere in the middle is narrative disaster. And since sitcoms are, effectively, comedies without end, it’s hard to write a marriage into the show in a way that encourages—rather than dashes—our illusions of its rightness.

  • Great American Losers

    March 9, 2012

    The man who feels himself unloved and unlovable—this is a character that we know well from the latest generation or two of American novels. His trials are often played for sympathetic laughs. His loserdom is total: it extends to his stunted career, his squalid living quarters, his deep unease in the world.

  • Post-Soviet Pastoral

    May 20, 2011

    You often hear the Putin era described as one of exhaustion and resignation on the part of the Russian electorate. Robin Hessman’s documentary My Perestroika, about the fall of the Soviet Empire as recalled by three men and two women now in their forties, fairly pulses with depressed resignation—pulses weakly, of course, resignation not being much of a stimulant.

  • 'Her'


    Her invites us to contemplate the differences between human females and humanoid ones.