The Best Performances of 2017

JOHN B. MCLEMORE, “S-TOWN” The same charisma, melodrama, eccentricity and melodious runaway-train accent that drew the radio producer Brian Reed to McLemore’s rural Alabama town hooked me on this podcast. Mr. Reed came for a specious tale of murder. He stayed to unpack a life. John B.’s presence diminishes after a couple of the show’s eight episodes. But his personality perfumes the whole production and his contradictions, obsessions and idiosyncrasies tell an ornate story about America that’s deeper, stranger and darker than maybe even “S-Town” knew.

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Warren Beatty, at the Oscars in February, explaining the error that resulted in “La La Land” being announced as best picture, rather than the real winner, “Moonlight.”

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