Welcome back to HomeFront, our temporary takeover of The Weekender. Meteorological summer starts next week — Monday is June! — and we’re learning more every day about adaptability, flexibility, and mindfulness. Maybe you’re still bingeing cozy sitcoms and making bread, and maybe you’re figuring out the logistics of a social-distancing barbecue followed by a summer blockbuster projected onto the garage door. It’s all good. Let’s check out some potential diversions.
COMFORT ZONE: The Globe’s Comfort Zone section offers tips for handling challenging times. It’s interactive, and tips from readers are welcome. Do you have a personal story to share? An act of kindness you want the world to know about? Advice or a hack to suggest that might help someone else cope? Send the editors an e-mail at email@example.com.
FILM: The highest-profile new release of the week, “The High Note,” is “a glossy, enjoyable, not at all believable show business fairy tale,” Globe film critic Ty Burr writes in a three-star review that’s worth reading just for the “Ahem”s. Like most fairy tales, the story of a soul-pop star (Tracee Ellis Ross) and her “much-abused personal assistant” (Dakota Johnson), doesn’t bear close scrutiny. But Flora Greeson “writes dialogue that’s shallow but clever; and under Nisha Ganatra’s direction, 'The High Note’ tells a brisk, improbable tale.”
With virtual unknowns in front of and behind the camera, “The Vast of Night” might seem the opposite of “The High Note,” but it’s an eerie success on its own low-budget, high-concept terms. The “stylish, beautifully atmospheric tale of sci-fi doings in a sleepy 1950s town” garners three stars from Burr, who says the film “has the confidence of a story sure in its telling. It feels original.”
The cult films “Surrogate Valentine” and “Daylight Savings” are the first two parts of a trilogy that wraps up after an eight-year hiatus with “I Will Make You Mine,” which earns 2½ stars from Burr. Singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura returns as “a fictional version of himself — a talented, insecure panda bear of a guy,” with costar Lynn Chen assuming writer and director duties for this “sweet, slight drama of midlife readjustment.”
The documentary “On the Record” examines the #MeToo movement from the perspective of Drew Dixon, a music executive driven out of the business in 2000. Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering pick up her story in 2017, when she’s considering being interviewed by The New York Times about Russell Simmons and L.A. Reid. The result, writes Globe correspondent Peter Keough, “is difficult but essential viewing.”
Remember leaving the house to see a movie? You still can — if you stay in the car. “These days, when a Target run qualifies as an outing, we’ve never needed the drive-in more,” write Globe correspondents Diane Bair and Pamela Wright, who found 13 drive-in movie theaters across New England that are already open or getting ready to roll. Not sure about driving all the way to Mendon? Globe travel writer and columnist Christopher Muther got there first, and he’s bullish on the phenomenon. “[T]his summer, the drive-in will have its revenge,” he writes. “The drive-in movie will become more relevant than it has been since the Mamas and the Papas ruled the airwaves and Frankie and Annette decided that the beach was the best place to play bingo.”
Seeing Michael Caine in the trailer for Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” got Globe writer and editor Mark Feeney thinking about actor-director teams and sent him down an IMDb rabbit hole. “Seeing such a relationship onscreen can be as reassuring for the audience as it is for the filmmaker," he writes. "Their relationship is like that between old friends: friendship between them that becomes one between us and them, too.”
TV: With “The Office” star Steve Carell and creator Greg Daniels — not to mention a stellar supporting cast — the should-be-hilarious Netflix series “Space Force” is “a stubbornly bland, tonally unbalanced, and oddly paced take on the Space Force that inspires shoulder shrugs and disinterest,” writes Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert.
“Quiz,” directed by Stephen Frears, transforms a 2001 cheating scandal that rocked the British production of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” into a “thought-provoking and entertaining miniseries," Gilbert says. James Graham’s script, based on his play, “doesn’t pronounce innocence or guilt — the 'final answer’ — but he toys with them in ways that broaden the scope of ‘Quiz’ beyond a did-they-or-didn’t-they story.”
If the “Frozen” and “Hamilton” superfans in your house are agitating for an Apple TV+ subscription, thank “Central Park,” an animated musical comedy (you read that right) featuring the voices of Kristen Bell (the original Anna), Leslie Odom Jr. (the original Burr), and Daveed Diggs (the original Lafayette/Jefferson), among many others. Gilbert reports that the series, which launches Friday, has already been renewed.
A Gilbert favorite, “What We Do in the Shadows,” is back for Season 2, and anyone worried that the “gothic-horror comedy about vampire roommates on Staten Island” wouldn’t live up to its early promise can relax — the FX series “is still as funny and twisted as ever,” and the “cast is perfection from top to bottom.”
FINE ART: This week’s Pilgrimage takes Globe art critic Murray Whyte down I-95 to Providence, hometown of multimedia artist Ellen Gallagher. He writes, “[Gallagher] is the only artist I can think of who studied marine biology and oceanic microclimates in Maine, or worked on an Alaskan fishing trawler. The water, in its infinite dimensions of nature and culture, is her fluid foundation.”
In a Globe virtual event, Unlocking Museums: Moving Forward in a Crisis, Whyte speaks with the directors of four local institutions that are preparing to reopen in a transformed world. The conversation with the heads of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the MIT List Visual Arts Center begins Friday at noon via Zoom. RSVPs are required.
FOOD & DINING: In an unscientific Globe poll, only 18 percent of respondents said they’d head to restaurants as soon as reopening phase two kicks in, no sooner than June 8. While you wait, why not make some oatmeal-raisin cookies? “Fill the cookie jar and pour the milk,” writes former Globe food editor Sheryl Julian.
MENTAL HEALTH: Love Letters columnist Meredith Goldstein’s Taking Care interview series turns to the subject of employment in the context of psychological wellness — a hot topic even before the pandemic upended many workplaces. This week’s expert is Boston College psychology professor David Blustein, author of “The Importance of Work in an Age of Uncertainty."
ARTSALIVE: The Globe initiative ArtsAlive curates exclusive content from local cultural institutions to brighten your day with creative videos while performance and exhibition spaces are shuttered. This week’s highlights include a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the Museum of Fine Arts and a Handel and Haydn Society performance that tickles both the ear and the funny bone.
COMEDY: Speaking of funny, homebound comedians in need of an outlet are turning to podcasting. “And there is a comedy podcast for every taste,” writes Globe correspondent Nick A. Zaino III. He rounds up a half-dozen, created by entertainers including Stoneham’s own Josh Gondelman, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick”), Jackie Kashian and “Conan” writer Laurie Kilmartin, and even Conan himself.
MUSIC: The Boston Public Library’s collection of 78 rpm records, available in digital form through the Internet Archive, has caught Globe correspondent James Sullivan’s ear. The Top 10 includes Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, ”and, weirdly, a veddy British Noel Coward satire from the thick of World War II called 'Don’t Let’s Be Beastly to the Germans.’” How can you resist?
BUT REALLY: Negotiating the transition from mostly staying home — if you’re lucky enough to do that — to venturing out takes as long as it takes. Becoming accustomed to a new routine took some time, and adjusting it won’t be automatic, either. Trust your instincts. Wear your mask. Wash your hands!