An award-winning cynical journalist, Lloyd Vogel, begrudgingly accepts an assignment to write an Esquire profile piece on the beloved television icon Fred Rogers. After his encounter with Rogers, Vogel's perspective on life is transformed.
Quirky, unique, beautiful, even dark yet moving, 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood' shatters all expectations and leaves you with a sense of peace and understanding. Featuring performances by the incomparable Tom Hanks who does a better Mr Rogers than Mr Rogers himself and the always transfixing Matthew Rhys, this will be a fitting and satisfactorily addition to the legacy of this adored American hero.
- Jess Fenton
Read Jess' full article...
Not what I was expecting. Better than I was expecting. What a genuinely interesting film, I felt I was given real insight. I have no way of knowing if that's true or not of course, but I felt it, and that arguably matters more when it comes to filmmaking.
_Final rating:★★★½ - I really liked it. Would strongly recommend you give it your time._
I have expectations when watching a Tom Hanks movie. He is one of the great actors, obviously, and he inhabits his roles. So when he plays an actual person, especially a familiar character like Mr. Rogers, there is a second level beyond nailing the character where he needs to give a nuanced performance, beyond just mimicking the traits. This is a tough role and he handles it well, I believe.
I am sure I knew at some point in the past that Mr. Rogers was a minister, but I had forgotten, so the religious aspects didn't do much for me. But I guess it is as good an explanation as any as to why he was such a relentlessly nice person. I am not a believer, but if all believers were like Mr. Rogers, I would have no issues with religion.
As a side note, and please indulge me here, our daughter is obsessive compulsive and when Queen Sara wasn't featured in an episode, she would throw a fit worthy of the Rain Man, so this was an important program in our house. (We learned to have an episode with the Queen on a vhs tape for those days when she didn't appear on the scheduled show.) so it was interesting for me to get a behind the scenes glimpse of the history and making of the show. But it doesn't overwhelm the plot either.
So I heartily recommend this movie. I also recommend the article this movie is based on. It is available online if you do a duck duck go search for it.
A lovely movie, especially for those of us who grew up watching Mister Rogers. It inspires compassion and reminded me, and I hope other viewers, that individual actions can and do make the world kinder and more peaceful. I found it a little slow in a few parts but is an overall engaging and clever film and not overly sentimental. Highly recommend.