Friday, June 18

Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

Plagued by survivor’s guilt, anger and regrets, those left behind in the province — the hardest-hit place in Italy, and perhaps the world — grapple to understand how the coronavirus has changed them.

The northern Italian province, which gave the West a preview of the horrors to come — oxygen-starved grandparents, teeming hospitals and convoys of coffins rolling down sealed-off streets — now serves as a disturbing postcard from the post-traumatic aftermath.

Coping mechanisms: Doctors at a hospital that became an incubator of the virus said they had seen an increase in patients with substance abuse issues, and psychologists in the province have reported a rise in anxiety and depression.

From the front lines: “People are scared to see one another,” said one woman, whose father died of Covid-19 in March. “There is a lack of affection, of touching and holding.”

Next steps: The two leaders will speak again today to determine whether a deal can be struck by a Dec. 31 deadline. If not, the European Union will begin imposing tariffs on British goods.

Were there any fisticuffs?

A.O. SCOTT: One of my first lists had Will Ferrell, and I got a one-word response from Manohla: “No.”

MANOHLA DARGIS: It wasn’t quite “Over my dead body,” but I was emphatic that it wasn’t going to happen.

SCOTT: The hardest one for me to give up was this Romanian actor Vlad Ivanov — he stayed in there until the very end, but there just wasn’t room.

DARGIS: I had a few square-jawed men like Viggo Mortensen, but I just had the feeling I was going to have to let them go. Maybe we should have done 50, but I don’t know that anyone wanted to read 25,000 words from us.

Anyone you didn’t debate?

DARGIS: Denzel Washington was always No. 1 on both of our lists.

SCOTT: Keanu Reeves has been a controversial pick, but he was on the list from the beginning. Then we decided we were going to make a statement by putting him high up on the list. The John Wick movies aren’t masterpieces of cinema, but the way Reeves embodies this slightly ridiculous action hero in those movies is just beautiful to watch.

DARGIS: And Rob Morgan. He just makes us happy every time he shows up in a movie.

What do you hope people take away from the list?

SCOTT: Just because you haven’t seen a film doesn’t mean it isn’t worthy of inclusion. We didn’t just want this to be famous movie stars. There are lots of wonderful character actors who are consistently outstanding in smaller roles.

DARGIS: Some people have said “I don’t recognize any of these people” or “These are all foreign people.” Well, they aren’t foreign in their country! Expand your horizons and get beyond Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker.”

Thanks for joining me, and happy Monday.

— Natasha

Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach Natasha and the team at

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