a beautiful day in the neighborhood

★★★★★

DIRECTOR: Marielle Heller (can you ever forgive me?)
STARRING: tom hanks, matthew rhys, chris cooper and Susan Kelechi Watson

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.

Gets-you-at-your-core kind of wonderful - A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a story that'll get you in the feels long after the credits roll.

 

All too often we leave a movie sighing, "well wasn't that inspiring?",  before promptly putting it all under the 'Miscellaneous' file of our minds. A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is entirely different. The "inspirational" factor rings so true that I woke up in the middle of the night just to get my thoughts down! "Won't you be my neighbour" is running in a loop in my head, and I can't help but think this Mr Rogers was really onto something.

 

And that, my friends, is where I want to begin with the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. A film about an American children's TV host that most of us won't know and have never heard of - making its impact all the more profound! Fred Rogers hosted a series called Mr Rogers' Neighborhood from 1968-2001, and this movie is inspired by an article written about Mr Rogers for Esquire magazine in 1998.

 

Lloyd Vogel is an investigative journalist with a whole lot of his own baggage. Sad, hurt, jaded, a new dad and given an assignment to profile Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers. He approaches the interview with skepticism, finding it unbelievable that anyone can have such a good nature both on and off screen. But Roger's remarkable kindness leads to Vogel looking at his own past in a new way.

 

Whoever made the inspired decision that Tom Hanks should play Mr Rogers is a genius. You hear the drawl and see the smile and you can't help but feel the warm fuzzies. But don't get me wrong, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood isn't cheesy or sickly sweet, it still manages to be heartbreaking with it's heavy focus on Lloyd and his story, plus a very real take on the life of Mr Rogers.

 

The editing was so creative, and noticeable in the very best way, with cuts between Mr Roger's fictional neighbourhood and the real scenes of the movie. Matthew Rhys plays Lloyd Vogel and portrays the ever-a-skeptic very well. And, of course, Tom Hanks seems tailor-made for this role (but then again, which role is he ever not tailor-made for!?)

 

It looks like we all really missed out when it comes to Mr Rogers, and this film suddenly makes you feel like he's needed now - like right now, please!

 

I don't cry, but tears fell in this one. Be enlightened and watch A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

★★★★★

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