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Priest Gets 60 Days in Jail for Encasing Teen in Bubble Wrap
The Rev. Brian Stanley has been sentenced to two months behind bars after pleading guilty to a 2013 incident in which he encased a teenager that he was supposed to be counseling in tape and bubble wrap.
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Opinion: Don't forget there were other basketball players who died in helicopter crash
Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester also perished in helicopter accident the killed Kobe Bryant on Sunday in California.        
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NBA postpones Lakers-Clippers game after Kobe Bryant death
The Lakers and Clippers game scheduled for Tuesday at Staples Center has been postponed following the death of former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, the NBA announced Monday. “The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven...
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Bloomberg brings his campaign to Sanders' home turf
"I can't speak for the senator, I can only speak for myself," Bloomberg said in Burlington, Vermont on Monday.
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CDC monitoring 110 possible coronavirus cases in 26 states
More than a hundred people across 26 states are being monitored for possible cases of the new coronavirus, health officials said Monday. The number of possible cases of the dangerous virus nearly doubled to 110 cases over four days, up from the 63 previously reported to be under surveillance, according to CNBC. “We understand that...
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Mural of Kobe and Gigi pops up in LA
The mural recreates a popular photo of Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter
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How ‘Finding Your Roots’ became a cultural phenomenon
"We deconstruct ethnic identities to show that when the lights came down, everyone was sleeping with everyone else -- that’s the way human history goes!”
Browns RB Kareem Hunt told police he would have failed drug test
Browns RB Kareem Hunt was cited for speeding but no other charges last week when he was pulled over on a highway in Ohio.
Lakers vs. Clippers game postponed after Kobe's death
The game was scheduled for 10 p.m. on Tuesday and will be rescheduled at a later date.
NBA postpones Lakers-Clippers game scheduled for Tuesday in wake of Kobe Bryant's death
The NBA announced Monday the game between the Lakers and Clippers set for Tuesday will be postponed.
'The Witcher' Season 2 Leaks Reveal Sigismund Dijkstra Casting, Who Is The Redanian Spymaster?
'The Witcher' Season 2 is in production now for Netflix, with new cast members joining to play familiar characters from fantasy series who weren't introduced in the first season.
Jack Evans to run for D.C. Council after resigning seat amid ethics scandal
Evans, who represented Ward 2 for 29 years, is mounting a political comeback
NBA postpones Lakers game scheduled for Tuesday night
The Washington Post sure bungled its Kobe Bryant tweet controversy
The Post suspended a reporter after she tweeted about Kobe Bryant. | ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images If media companies can’t handle complaints about their reporters’ tweets, they should take Twitter away from their reporters. It’s 2020. How come the Washington Post is screwing up at Twitter? That’s the rough paraphrase coming at me today from my colleagues and from Twitter. Everyone wants to know why the Post has punished one of its reporters for tweeting about Kobe Bryant after his death yesterday. My answer: It’s 2020, and Twitter — really, all of social media — remains something that media companies of all stripes can and will screw up. Because humans are messy, and social media, among other things, is built to exploit that mess. The situation won’t get better unless media companies ban their employees from using social media. Which they’re not going to do. You can get a full tick-tock on the Post/Bryant/Twitter story from my colleague Emily Stewart, but the tl;dr is that the Post put reporter Felicia Sonmez on “administrative leave” after she tweeted in the wake of Bryant’s death on Sunday. A slightly longer account includes the detail that Sonmez’s output included a link to a 2016 Daily Beast article about sexual assault charges Bryant faced in 2003. (The criminal charges were dropped in 2004, and Bryant and his accuser reached an out-of-court settlement in 2005.) One of Sonmez’s tweets also included a screenshot of her email inbox, which was taken after sending out the tweet with the link about Bryant’s assault charges. The tweets garnered thousands of replies, many of which were negative, before Sonmez deleted them. As Stewart points out on Vox, one of the missives read, “Piece of fucking shit. Go fuck yourself. Cunt.” The Post has since said that Sonmez’s output may have violated the Post’s social media policies, so it’s investigating that possibility. You can find those policies here, but you won’t find instructions forbidding Post reporters from linking to other publications’ stories or from posting evidence of people on the internet behaving badly. The Post’s Erik Wemple reports today that Sonmez, who checked into a hotel Sunday night after receiving death threats, says she was told that the initial problem with her tweets was that they didn’t concern her “coverage area.” Like other media organizations that have posted social media policies, the Washington Post does tell its employees that when they tweet or Insta or whatever, those messages will be treated as Official Washington Post tweets or Instas or whatever, no matter their original intent. As with many other outlets, there is also this instruction: Don’t post anything that could “objectively be perceived as reflecting political, racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism.” This is one of those instructions that seems both obvious and impossible to enforce. I hope I can avoid posting racist commentary. But I most certainly have bias, and I definitely have favorites. So do you. More to the point — and my view of the world may be the same as yours — it’s ridiculous that the Post penalized its reporter for acknowledging that Bryant, in addition to being beloved by many people, was credibly accused of rape. (In a 2004 statement, Bryant ultimately apologized to his accuser “for my behavior that night,” adding that while “I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.”) You may also see the world the way many other people do: You think the hours after someone’s death are not the time to speak critically of that person. But the fact that the Post says that Sonmez may have violated the company’s social media policy — but can’t say for sure if she has, a day after the tweets — is telling. The Post’s guidelines, like those published by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, including Vox Media — amount to “don’t screw up.” Screwing up is the whole point of social media. It’s a feature, not a bug. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and every other service offering the opportunity to transmit your unmoderated, instantaneous thoughts to the world want you to screw up at least some of the time. Social media invites you to say something you might not have said to someone’s face, or at least not without some foresight. And while piling on the Post may feel good — again, I think a newspaper that can stand up to Donald Trump can also protect a reporter who hasn’t published something defamatory — the Post certainly isn’t the only publication that has found itself disciplining one of its employees for a tweet or apologizing for one of their tweets. We can start close to home: Vox, for instance, suspended an editor in 2016 for tweeting that people should “start a riot” if Donald Trump arrives in their town. Last summer, the New York Times demoted an editor for displaying “serious lapses in judgment” when he tweeted about politics and race. And in 2017, the Wall Street Journal said it was sorry for a tweet about Venus Williams — which began with “Something’s not white!” — because it “was seen by some as insensitive.” Let’s not forget about publications that have had to apologize for what their employees did on social media before they came to work there. The Times, in particular, stumbles on this one a lot. In 2018, it unhired an opinion writer once her old tweets surfaced and attracted negative attention. Last year, a Times editor had to apologize for tweets he made in college. The way for the Times and other outlets to avoid worrying about journalists screwing up on Twitter is to ban them from Twitter and every other public forum. These companies would also have to force all of their journalists to retroactively delete everything they’ve ever posted — maybe someone tweeted something unkind about Bryant back when he was scoring 81 points in a single game, or whatever. Or they could require the same kind of attorney-assisted vetting that the SEC has now forced Tesla’s Elon Musk to go through whenever he wants to tweet. That won’t happen, of course, because every company that hires journalists wants its journalists to use those platforms, at a minimum as a way to promote their work. Perhaps they also think it’s crucial to “maintain a vibrant presence on social media,” as the Times policy suggests. And it’s true: NYT’s reporters do great work on Twitter. But as soon as people pick up the phone and start tapping, they are a couple of taps away from a screwup. Media companies should be able to live with that prospect — and, crucially, with the idea that not all screwups are equal, and that just because someone is angry about a tweet doesn’t make it a Bad Tweet, and you can let people complain about Bad Tweets without having to Do Something About The Bad Tweet. Or they can bail out and leave Twitter to the rest of us.
Students are returning to class in earthquake-shaken Puerto Rico, but fears persist over the condition of schools
The seismic activity is just the latest assault on the psyche of children and adults.
Trump lawyer bemoans 'era' of impeachment
Trump lawyer bemoans 'era' of impeachment
Fue imposible detener la regla de carga pública, la lucha no termina
Los expertos detallan cómo la regla tendrá un impacto negativo en la salud pública, los servicios sociales, la vivienda, los programas educativos y la economía de California.
Yelp expanding alerts for restaurants with low health scores
Bad restaurant scores are about to get more in your face than ever.
Mike Bloomberg first 2020 Dem to campaign in all 14 Super Tuesday states
With stops in Vermont and Maine, Michael Bloomberg on Monday became this election cycle's first presidential hopeful to visit all 14 Super Tuesday states, as he focuses his campaign on post-early state contests.
'You made us dream': Kobe Bryant is mourned in Italy, where he first learned to play
At 7, the future NBA star cried when he was taken off a team — because he was too good. He benefited from Italian-style coaching, which emphasizes tactics.
ESPN will show Kobe Bryant's last Lakers game tonight
In a performance that was as fitting as it was epic, Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in the Los Angeles Lakers' 101-96 victory over the Utah Jazz.
'Bombshell's' Charlize Theron: Why care about the women of Fox? To stop harassment
Charlize Theron on Fox News, why she doesn't do Method acting, and "the biggest misogynist" who casts a shadow over "Bombshell."
Kobe Bryant's studio makes Oscar-winning short 'Dear Basketball' available for free
You can now watch Kobe Bryant's Oscar-winning short "Dear Basketball," which his studio made available in its entirety Monday.
This video clip shows how Trump defenders have dramatically moved the misconduct goalposts
Steve Doocy in a Fox News studio last October. | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images Fox & Friends shrugged off the quid pro quo months after saying it’d “be off-the-rails wrong” — and they’re not alone. Throughout the impeachment process, President Trump and his allies have come up with novel ways to defend the president against allegations of misconduct that range from misdirection to outright lies. As Trump’s Senate trial progresses, a clip put together by Media Matters for America shows just how dramatically defenders of President Donald Trump are willing to move the goalposts in their defenses of the president. Last September, and in the months that followed, Trump’s Republican defenders acknowledged that if Trump linked the release of military aid to Ukraine with political favors, it would be a big deal. They insisted, however, there was no evidence that any corrupt quid pro quo actually existed. But on the heels of news breaking on Sunday about former National Security Adviser John Bolton saying he has firsthand knowledge that Trump did in fact make that linkage, evidence of a corrupt quid pro quo is suddenly being met with yawns. The then-and-now clip of Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy talking about the Ukraine scandal illustrates this shift in an especially stark manner. Watch the two clips back to back for yourself: Steve Doocy's shifting perspective on Trump and Ukraine— Media Matters (@mmfa) January 27, 2020 Four months ago, Doocy proclaimed that “if the president said [to the Ukrainian government], you know — ‘I’ll give you the money but you gotta investigate Joe Biden’ — that is really off-the-rails wrong.” In short, he acknowledged that a quid pro quo linking military aid to political favors would be indefensible, but he suggested the question was irrelevant because it didn’t happen. But today, hours after news broke about Bolton’s book and its revelation that Trump directly told him the release of military aid was linked to his desired investigations, Doocy is singing a very different tune. To hear him say it now, the quid pro quo revelation is old news and not a big deal. Referring to a New York Times report about a draft of Bolton’s forthcoming book, Doocy noted that “apparently it says Bolton was told Trump wanted to continue freezing money to Ukraine until they helped with probes of the Bidens,” but then downplayed the quid pro quo. “But we heard him [Trump] in the transcript say he wanted President Zelensky to look into the Bidens and what happened in 2016, so is this a big, big, big story?” he said. This sort of spin isn’t just a Fox News thing — as journalist Judd Legum detailed in a Twitter thread, a number of Republicans, including Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, have made the same shift from denying the quid pro quo to downplaying it. 3. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX):1/15: Quid pro quo allegations were "hearsay... people who had no direct evidence, witnesses who'd never even met President Trump" 1/27: On Bolton: "It doesn’t change the underlying facts"— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 27, 2020 Similarly, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), who is part of Trump’s defense team, shifted from tweeting there was “zero quid pro quo” last September to saying Monday, “the facts haven’t changed.” In a way, this is true: Witness testimony has showed the president attempted to trade aid for the investigations, and Bolton’s information merely confirms that fact. Of course, that’s not what Collins means. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), another member of Trump’s defense team, went from saying “there was definitely no quid pro quo” in early October to dismissing Bolton’s account of the quid pro quo as “a desperate attempt [by Democrats] to resusciate their dying political dreams” on Monday. (Never mind that Bolton is a Republican who worked for numerous Republican presidents.) Along similar lines, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) went from falsely claiming just last Friday that a major problem with the case against Trump is the lack of firsthand witnesses to saying on Monday that Democratic efforts to compel the testimony of Bolton, who would be a firsthand witness, as just an effort to “string this thing out as long as they can.” Other Republicans are even contradicting themselves within individual news conferences. During one on Monday, Sen. John Barrasso said of the Bolton revelation that “there’s going to be something new coming out every day,” and later claimed that “the facts of the case remain the same. There is nothing new here to what the House managers have been saying.” Moving the goalposts in Trump’s defense seems to be becoming a regular thing for Barrasso. On Friday, I wrote about how he did the same thing regarding an audio recording that indicates Trump was lying about his relationship with Lev Parnas, Rudy Giuliani’s former fixer and a central figure in the Ukraine scheme. Of course, it’s no longer surprising that Republicans are willing to contradict themselves and to endure cognitive dissonance to defend Trump. After all, many of them spent the first week of the impeachment trial complaining that Democrats weren’t presenting new evidence, ignoring that they began the trial by voting to prevent Democrats from presenting new evidence. But if they’re willing to put their heads in the sand in response to an account from a former administration official that indicates Trump is guilty of what he’s being accused of, it raises the question of what (if anything) Republicans wouldn’t defend. The news moves fast. To stay updated, follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter, and read more of Vox’s policy and politics coverage.
California man arrested in decades-old killings of his 5 infants
A California father suspected in the decades-old killings of five of his infants has been arrested, authorities said Monday.
Can face masks help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
The swift spread of the deadly coronavirus is creating a shortage of clinical face masks — bought with the hope that the paper-thin respiratory shield will be enough to prevent transmission of the flu-like infection. The virus, which originated in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, has already killed 82 people and infected...
Max Rose vows to hunt down deer himself if de Blasio doesn’t act
One shot, Bill. One shot. Staten Island Rep. Max Rose did his best impression of Robert De Niro in “The Deer Hunter” Monday, telling a local newspaper that if Mayor Bill de Blasio won’t get more proactive about curbing the antler population in his district he’s going to grab his rifle and take care of...
Day 6: Impeachment trial scenes the Senate TV cameras won't let you see
President Donald Trump's legal team continued its defense Monday against the impeachment charges as the Senate trial was roiled by news of former national security adviser John Bolton's draft book manuscript. But views of the Senate chamber are still limited by restrictive TV camera rules.
You can send a Valentine's Day bouquet for super cheap right now
This sitewide deal at Bouqs is one of the best we've ever seen and it's perfect for Valentine's Day—but hurry, it won't last for long.
Ocasio-Cortez, Swalwell and Other Democrats Rail Against 'Public Charge' Decision: It's 'Racist,' 'Discriminatory,' 'Anti-Poor People'
"The American Dream isn't a private club with a cover charge," tweeted Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, "It's the possibility of remaking your future."
The Angle: Even Grammy Winners Hate the Grammys Now
So what’s the point?
John Bolton Revelations Test Trump Impeachment Defense Strategy
Donald Trump’s impeachment team began their second day of arguments less than 24 hours after revelations from John Bolton threatened to undermine key aspects of their defense. But Trump’s lawyers decided to plow ahead on Monday, ignoring the Bolton news and keeping with the planned defense they had outlined over the weekend. “We deal with…
Grammy ratings decline but still score relative to other entertainment shows
Grammy ratings mirrored the Golden Globes from earlier this month, posting generally strong numbers while experiencing declines compared to last year.
Newest GOP senator accuses Romney of trying to ‘appease the left’ in favoring witnesses in Trump impeachment trial
The rare intraparty feud was striking as Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) and her husband donated $1.5 million to Romney’s failed presidential bid.
In ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns,’ a searing indictment of the Taliban’s treatment of women
Arena Stage brings to Washington a powerful play based on Khaled Hosseini’s novel.
Trump impeachment trial live updates: President's defense team attacks Bidens
New questions about President Trump's Senate trial after former aide John Bolton reportedly claims that the president told him he tied Ukraine aid to a Bidens probe.
Anti-Defamation League condemns Rashida Tlaib for 'blood libel' retweet falsely accusing Israelis of killing Palestinian boy
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) slammed Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., for sharing "blood libel" on social media that wrongfully claimed that Israelis were responsible for the death of a young Palestinian boy.
Supreme Court paves way for Trump admin. to enforce ‘public charge’ rule
A divided Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the Trump administration can make it harder for public benefits recipients to obtain visas and green cards. The 5-4 vote overturned a nationwide freeze put in place by lower courts, which blocked enforcement of changes to the “public charge” rule. The policy expands the number of programs...
Bolton bombshell sets off a whodunit frenzy
News of the former national security adviser's manuscript has everyone blaming everyone else for leaking.
También Gustavo Dudamel y Los Ángeles Phil ganan un Grammy por Andrew Norman's Sustain
El director de orquesta Gustavo Dudamel gana su segundo Grammy, esta vez para el estreno mundial de música que nos lleva a considerar nuestra relación con la Tierra.
Ford v Ferrari feels like a classic Oscar movie. Can it win Best Picture?
Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari. | 20th Century Fox Our roundtable discusses the Oscar chances for the historical tale of men, fast cars, and mortality. Every year, between five and 10 movies compete for the Oscars’ Best Picture trophy. It’s the most prestigious award that the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences gives out every year, announced right at the end of the ceremony. And there aren’t any set rules about what constitutes a “best” picture. It’s the movie — for better or worse, depending on the year — that Hollywood designates as its standard-bearer for the current moment. And so, the film that wins Best Picture essentially represents the American movie industry’s view of its accomplishments in the present and its aspirations for the future. Each year’s nomination slate roughly approximates the movies the industry thinks showcase its greatest achievements from the past 12 months. And one thing that’s definitely true about the nine Best Picture nominees from 2019 is that, in tone and theme, they’re all over the place. The most-nominated film overall is also one of the year’s most successful commercially, and one of its most controversial. A beloved social thriller from Korea has reached the milestone of becoming that country’s first Best Picture and Best International Feature nominee. There are three historical dramas: one set during World War I, one that centers on a 1966 car race, and one that co-stars an imaginary Hitler. There’s a quietly funny drama about love and divorce and a revisionist history of Hollywood in the summer of 1969. The world’s arguably most influential living auteur made a gangster epic with eternity on its mind. And a critically acclaimed adaptation of a celebrated novel rounds out the group. In the runup to the Oscars on February 9, the Vox staff is looking at each of the nine Best Picture nominees in turn. What makes this film appealing to Academy voters? What makes it emblematic of the year? And should it win? Below, Vox critic at large Emily VanDerWerff, Vox video creative director Joe Posner, and film critic Alissa Wilkinson talk about Ford v Ferrari, the real-life story of two men racing against both their biggest competitor and their own demons. Alissa: It took me a while to get around to seeing Ford v Ferrari, not because I didn’t have faith in it — after Logan, I’m genuinely interested in everything director James Mangold comes up with — but because it was sold to me as a “dad movie,” and I didn’t put it at the top of my priority list. (Look, I love dads, but there’s a lot of movies.) But when I finally got to watch it, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a really well-crafted movie with some excellent performances (one in particular we’ll get to in a bit) and a lot going on under the, uh, hood. I hate the “they don’t make movies like this anymore” cliché, because of course they do, but there’s something very old-fashioned about Ford v Ferrari that I loved. One of you is a dad and one of you is not, though that’s not why I wanted to talk about the movie with you. It’s because I know you’re both attentive to matters of craft and how they advance storytelling beyond mere plot — and this movie, as you both know, is very dependent on things like sound design and images to give the audience an almost visceral experience. So before we get to the story of Ford v Ferrari, can we talk about how the story is told? What stood out to you? Joe: I’ll get this out of the way: Yes, I am the Dad in here. And I did enjoy this movie.(Only about half as much as the Academy-spurned Hustlers and Uncut Gems, though.) But Mangold and company made this fun — from little things like constantly referring to Henry Ford II (played by Tracy Letts) as “the Deuce,” to bigger things like putting the Deuce through some truly jaw-dropping driving, and then letting us just watch him cry for what felt like a full minute afterward. In terms of technical craft, honestly, the first thing that stuck out to mewas just how loud this movie was. A baby sleeping downstairs means I’m going out to the theater less, but even at home means loud “VROOM”s triggered a deep fear of waking the baby. Yet I couldn’t turn down the volume — the characters’ voices have been carefully calibrated to be so quiet that the car noises were guaranteed tear through your body like a little puddle. Kind of a rude move for an actual new parent, but clearly I had a lot of fun in general. And hey, the sound mixers and editors might even win Oscars. It’s nominated for both, perhaps making up for its lack of on-screen diversity with “VROOM” diversity? But what was up with the voiceover? This film wants me to believe that if I’m driving a car at over 7,000 RPMs, everything else will disappear, and I’ll just be a “body, moving in space.” Does either of you understand why a genuinely fun movie like this one would have this kind of cheesy-ass VO? It was like somebody was trying to write a Bruce Springsteen song for the movie, but only went like 33 percent of the way there. Emily: My partner and I have a semi-regular movie night with some friends, and the one man in our little quartet kept insisting that we needed to watch this movie for one of those get-togethers. He’d seen it in theaters and thought we would enjoy it. So, dutifully, we loaded it up — and we had a fuckin’ blast. (Yes, there’s no G at the end of that word!) Maybe the chief reason to watch this movie is the race sequences, which blaze by with a muted intensity that feels strangely classicist at this point in cinematic history. It wasn’t difficult for me to imagine, say, Tony Scott or Ron Howard having made this in the mid-’90s and winning a bunch of Oscars for it, because the film’s high-speed races would have felt so groundbreaking at the time. Now, it’s weirdly quaint, a great reminder of what a dad movie has become in an era when a lot of dads are Gen Xers. But the other selling point of Ford v Ferrari, as far as I’m concerned, is Christian Bale. He’s just magnificent as Ken Miles, a man who approaches the planet as a thing he could get to spin at more revolutions per minute in order to transcend himself and ... something something something something. (You’re right, Joe, that this movie sort of assumes that what you most want to do in life is drive a car really fast. Maybe that’s true.) He anchors the movie in such a way that when this film takes a full turn toward “he was taken too soon” in its last 15 minutes, Ken’s (historical) death in a crash kind of robs the movie of its momentum in a way it never really earns. But still! Also, yes, Tracy Letts, our most wonderful movie dad. How he didn’t get more notice for a movie in which he plays out that long series of emotions after he’s dragged into a car that goes extremely fast is beyond me, and in a movie full of schematic villains (like the Italians in this movie are basically out of a Mario game), he offers a nuanced look at a man with a lot of power who just wants to play with his toys. What’s fascinating about Ford is how it’s composed of maybe 15 different two-handers nested within it. (A two-hander is a movie about two characters who have a typically non-romantic relationship that drives both of them forward, usually with those two characters cast with well-known actors.) Yes, of course, this is a movie about the relationship between Bale and Matt Damon’s characters, but both men’s relationships with Henry Ford II could be at the center of this film, too. So could the actual rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, if you wanted. It’s that willingness to feint toward the complexities of all of these characters that makes Ford v. Ferrari such a blast to watch. Is it the best movie of the year? No. But it’s absolutely the one movie among the nominees that’s most likely to become a cable TV staple in the years to come. And that is its own kind of win. Alissa: So from what I hear, the stunts (a.k.a.: all that driving) are mostly real in this movie, rather than CGI’d (though there are plenty of special effects, too). Which brings up a question for me: Why don’t we have an Oscar for stunts? And do you think this one would win it this year, if we did? Emily: This would be a totally wonderful winner of a theoretical Oscar for best stunts. And what do you know? Ford v. Ferrari received a SAG nomination for its stunt ensemble, the closest thing we have to an Oscar for them. So I think you’re on to something here, Alissa. That the movie uses mostly real stunt drivers is terrific, because it ties in to what Ford v. Ferrari is about at its core, which is this idea of old-fashioned craftsmanship. That’s obviously something that appeals to Mangold, a director who never met a concept he couldn’t shoehorn into a Western, but it’s also often a core idea of the dad movie. The theory goes that, at one time, men were men and craftsmanship was king. Now, everything’s falling apart. People don’t even do their own stunts anymore! It’s all created by a computer! What happened to America? The key to the dad movie often is that it’s not really a movie about the dad watching it but about his dad. So, for instance, the idea is that you, Joe, might watch this movie and think about your own dad, and how if he really put his mind to it, he could build a race car that would take out Ferrari at Le Mans. That’s why a truly great dad movie appeals to people of all genders, and regardless of parenthood status: We can remember our own dads or some other dependably masculine figure who impacted our lives in a memorable way (like when they convinced Henry Ford II to give Ken Miles another chance by taking him on a wild ride around an airport runway). What Mangold complicates about the dad movie in this film is that he doesn’t really give us easy heroes and villains. Though the movie is titled Ford v. Ferrari, the Ferrari company and its standard bearers sort of cease to be a major concern about two-thirds of the way through the film. Instead, we end up with a story about Ford v. Ford, as Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his team take on the more directly Ford-sponsored teams, then get bamboozled into giving up Ken Miles’s big win. I was vaguely gutted by this bamboozlement, too. I really was invested in Ken Miles winning, and when he slowed down to let his teammates cross the finish line before him, I felt like he’d also won the victory over himself. Instead, he’d been tricked by his corporate overlords. It’s very Mangold to make a movie about how an iconoclast is still in the service of the Man, and this might be his ultimate statement of intent in that regard. But I also loved all the little ways this movie immersed us in the details of Le Mans, like the diagram Miles shares with his son of the course, or the foot race to get to the cars that opens the big race. And there’s something so punishing about imagining keeping a car on the road for 24 hours, endlessly staving off disaster, in a way that Carroll knows all too well. This isn’t just a movie about guys being guys, though. It’s also about exactly one woman who gets to have multiple lines of dialogue, which is Ken’s wife, Mollie, played by Caitriona Balfe. If this film has been consistently criticized for anything, it’s the way Mollie is basically a throwback to a “supportive wife” character from one of those aforementioned ’90s movies. Joe, did you find Mollie a compelling character? And how did you feel about the movie’s weird and mournful ending? Joe: I guess Mollie is not entirely hewing to type — she never seems too worried about Ken’s high-risk avocation — but yes, the character was pretty shallow. Caitriona Balfe’s performance is knowing enough to make the most of it; watching her pull up a lawn chair to “not watch” the boys fight feels inconceivable outside the movies, for example. But the way she looks over her sunglasses, it’s as if she knows too. Maybe Mollie is pining for the crafted, larger-than-life stereotypes of Hollywood yore and has cast herself within that frame? Or maybe the male writer just ... didn’t care. As for the ending, it clearly wasn’t something this movie wanted to dwell on. The wide shot of the crash leaves you wondering what exactly happened. The voiceover returns, suggesting thatmaybe attaining highspeed is worth dying for. We heara vague echo telling us that“sometimes they just don’t get out of the car,” but the movie never directlygrapples with the specifics of what happened with the same detail afforded tothe painstakingly recreated race scenes. Well, outside the movies we have Google, and some cursory research suggests the real Ken Miles did get out of the car — because he was violently thrown out of it as the car tumbled end-over-end, killing him. There’s no specific evidence the crash was due to driver error, leaving the possibility that Ford or Shelby could share responsibility. But rather than allowing Mollie, Ken’s son Peter, or Shelby to ask that question, the filmmakers quietly speed by it. I wish they hadn’t. I enjoyed the fun of the movie, and deeply enjoyed every moment of Tracy Letts’s portrayal of Henry Ford II’s insecurities. But the filmmakers looked away when it mattered. “He died doing what he loved,” the film wants us to say to ourselves, hoping, as Emily says, that we’ll think wistfully about our dads in the process. But Ken was only 47, and I shudder to think how my life would be different if my dad had passed away that young. Wouldn’t you want to know if your father died as a result of the Deuce’s pissing contest? Alissa: My dad actually did pass away at 47 (from leukemia, though, not exactly a pissing contest), and I thought quite a lot about him, and the gap his passing left, while I was watching the movie. Other movies this season (like The Irishman), combined with the fact that I am slowly, slowly approaching the age he was then, have made me think about how I’ll never know him as an old man. And there’s a sense in which Ford v Ferrari expertly explores middle age, the way The Irishman is a searing insight into old age. Last question: What other movies have given you the same feeling of adrenaline and emotion that watching Ford v Ferrari does? Another way of asking this — if someone loved Ford v Ferrari, what else would you suggest to them? Neither of these is an obvious choice, but I’d recommend Mangold’s last film, Logan, which takes the X-Men’s Wolverine character and makes him the star of a Western, and last year’s great documentary Apollo 11,which in some ways is about people trying to pull off a feat just as zany as the one in this movie. Joe: Oh gosh, I’m so sorry for your loss, Alissa. To answer your question, I was surprised to be reminded of Pixar’s Ratatouille while watching Ford v Ferrari. No, not Cars, which correctly didn’t make it anywhere close to the top of Vox’s Pixar rankings. Stick with me here: I understand the technical specifics of how to make a car go faster about as clearly as how a rat could control a human via his hair. But the films share a rambunctious search for perfection, the inevitability of compromise, and some complicated parenting. And this is even further afield, but if you’re looking for another film featuring some absolutely fantastic performances, a deeply impressive commitment to a craft, some admittedlyshallow characters, and a happy ending instead of a historically mandated sad one: Singin’ in the Rain. I lived 35 years without seeing that movie. Dearest reader, avoid my mistake if you can. But I’m so excited to hear Emily’s suggestions — take it away! Emily: I lost my biological father (whom I never met) when he was 48, and even though I had never spoken to him, the loss was gutting all the same. I didn’t expect him to suddenly be my “dad,” but it was nice to know he was out there in the world, being somebody’s dad, probably. (Turned out this suspicion was right. His two kids have become a wonderful part of my life since I met them.) So good dad movies often have a touch of the melancholy to them. And because our old pal James Mangold and the father who actually raised me both love Westerns, allow me to recommend a few of those. Unforgiven, Clint Eastwood’s paean for a long-gone genre and a long-gone way of life, is a must-watch for sure. But also how about The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly, a movie that is a lot of fun, yet soaked through with pathos? Or even The Searchers, which 2020 eyes will note has plenty of racist stereotypes but is at least using them in service of poking at old Hollywood’s racist assumptions, and is definitely melancholic. Or maybe we just want a “cars go fast” movie, in which case, Ron Howard’s 2013 movie Rush is a good time. (Heck, Howard’s 1995 film Apollo 13 has big Ford v. Ferrari energy as well.) Yet that’s the thing about dad movies: They end up being ultra-personal choices, because they’ll always remind you, on some level, of all the fatherly folks in your own life, both known and unknown. Ford v. Ferrari made me feel those ghosts acutely, but it also let me see some cars go really fast. What more do you really want from a movie?
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