When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.


Close To The 'Bone': A French Connection, Haltingly

Nov 22, 2012

Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone is an unapologetic melodrama rendered in what you might call semi-stylized neo-expressionistic realism, and it works like gangbusters. The picture takes some turns you don't expect, and some you do. But the ultimate effect is that of a filmmaker striving not to make a work of art, or a subtle drama that will win big festival prizes, or an afternoon's worth of cinema for sophisticated people. He just wants to send you home with a story and with the memory of his characters' faces. In other words, he wants to give you the world.

Which is perhaps why, when the movie debuted at Cannes last spring, critics either raved or complained about how over-the-top it was. Rust and Bone certainly is over the top, but only in the sense that Audiard dares to take chances with pure conventionality.

As the movie opens, we watch as a scruffy young man leads his small blond son first through some winding, industrial-looking European city streets and then onto a train. Both the man and the boy wear jackets, suggesting it's cold enough for that, but the kid is wearing sandals — the visual idea is that if he owned any other shoes, he'd be wearing them.

When the two finally board that train car, the boy announces that he's hungry, and his father scrounges through the seat pockets around them, assembling a small feast from people's discards. Later, he steals a camera from a store, using the proceeds to buy the kid a McDonald's Happy Meal.

The father, Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), and the son, Sam (Armand Verdure, a somber charmer with hollows under his eyes and teacup handles for ears), are headed for Antibes, where they'll move in with Ali's sister, Anna (Corinne Masiero, in a small, wonderfully sturdy performance). She welcomes them reluctantly. Ali immediately begins looking for a job, and he lands one as a nightclub bouncer. As he's breaking up a fight one night, he meets Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), a mystery in a miniskirt. He learns that by day, she trains killer whales at a local marine park; by night, she likes to dance.

Not long after this, Stephanie loses her legs as the result of a terrible event — you'd call it a freak accident, if only it didn't unfold with such gorgeous dramatic restraint, and to the tune of Katy Perry's "Firework" no less. Meanwhile, the scrappy Ali has taken up bare-knuckle fighting as a way of supplementing his patchwork of increasingly disreputable jobs. He and Stephanie fall in love, eventually, partly thanks to pure animal attraction and partly because both are clawing their way out of circumstance.

If that seems like a lot to cram into a movie, it is. But the too-muchness of it all is precisely what makes Rust and Bone work. Audiard co-wrote the picture with Thomas Bidegain, loosely adapting Craig Davidson's short-story collection of the same name. The picture isn't as taut, or as dreary, as Audiard's last movie, 2009's A Prophet (also a collaboration between Audiard and Bidegain); its energy is more the free-floating kind, but it's vibrant even in the film's darkest minutes.

And it can't hurt that the actors are fully in tune with Audiard's half-gritty, half-florid romantic vision. Schoenaerts' Ali is, through much of the movie, the sort of guy you're not sure you like, and yet you can't take your eyes off him: He's a lad prowling around in trainers and track pants, a player who seems to think he's much better looking than he is. But his eyes show something more complicated, and more fearful, as the story moves forward.

Part of what he fears, it seems, is everything that Stephanie has to offer him. Cotillard is superb here, giving a performance that's delicate and bold at once. When she first meets Ali, she bristles visibly — and understandably — when he decrees that she's dressed like a prostitute. Later, we see her working with her whales, their smooth black-and-white flanks as sleek and as elegant as a gangster's two-tone shoes; with them, she's joyous, businesslike, authoritative.

And later still, Stephanie shows something much softer and more vulnerable as she sits on the sidelines at a nightclub. By that point, she's been fitted with prosthetic limbs — she could dance, in a way, if she wanted to, but she'd rather not. Watching the bodies on the dance floor, she wears an expression halfway between wistfulness and rapture.

Audiard isn't afraid to be a little sentimental, and that's what distinguishes Rust and Bone from so many other contemporary dramas or romances. Cotillard, though, isn't sentimental at all. In the movie's most visually stunning scene, Stephanie goes back to her workplace to visit her old co-workers, and the whales. She taps the glass of a giant aquarium with her palm, and one of the magnificent beasts swims up to greet her. Using hand signals, she directs his movements as if she were directing traffic, and he obliges dutifully. This is a woman who can bend nature to her whim. It is, you could say, a kind of dancing.

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