The best of Canada in 2023

Light: The 10 best books of 2023

Nathan Fielder, the Canadian actor known for his deadpan performance, is back with a dark comedy called “The Curse.” Here’s a trailer. It is streaming on Paramount+ Canada. (Mr. Fielder was executive producer of “How To With John Wilson,” another show that critics say is worth your time.)

Light: The best TV shows of 2023

“Past Lives,” the debut film from South Korean-Canadian director Celine Song, is “an examination of fate, chance, love and the invisible thread that binds one soul to another,” writes Alissa Wilkinson, film criticism at The Volte. (I enjoyed watching this film at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, which made it available for rent. You can also watch it in streaming platforms in Canada.)

An honorable mention on the list goes to “BlackBerry,” from Toronto-born director Matt Johnson. The film is a 2015 adaptation book by Jacquie McNish and Sean Silcoff, two Canadian business writers, and tells the story of the rise and fall of the Waterloo, Ontario, company behind the wildly popular smartphone. If you’re interested in an extended version of the film, you can check out the three-part “BlackBerry” miniseries at CBC Gem.

Light: The best films of 2023

Three Times pop music critics offer their picks of the year’s best songs. Some Canadians are on the list of 77.

Allison Russell, “Eve was black

“The tune could be a touching Appalachian encounter. But the blunt, irrefutable statement of the title leads Allison Russell to harsh thoughts about racism, slavery, exploitation, lynching and sin – and then to an unexpected conclusion.” —Jon Pareles

Mustafa, “Name of God

“Few artists evoke a richness of pain like Canadian folk singer Mustafa does. Here, his singing is beautiful and a little distant, as if he flinches slightly at a pain that will never be anything but raw.” —Jon Caramanica

Ken (Ryan Gosling), “I’m just Ken

“When this jarringly sad song from the movie ‘Barbie’ reaches its apogee, he’s channeling Dashboard Confessional, Meat Loaf, the Phantom (of the Opera) and maybe even Scott Stapp. Slash plays guitar, adding flavor to the melodrama.” —Jon Caramanica

Drake with Sexyy Red and SZA,”Rich dad

“It shows Z that Drake is at his best not when he insults grown women, but when he risks being overshadowed by inviting them onto the track.” —Lindsay Zoladz

Light: The best songs of 2023