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Published On: Tue, Nov 19th, 2019

‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ brings Mister Rogers, kindness to cinemas

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a film about Fred Rogers and the popular heroism he brought to culture through kindness and loving principles. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a film about our culture…what we value and how we treat one another.

Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers, centering around Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys of The Americans), the fictional version of Tom Junod, a journalist who profiled Fred Rogers for Esquire in 1998 in the article, “Can You Say…Hero?”

Vogel is struggling with life problems and repressed angry towards his father and the past. As the TV show showcases Rogers’ message, Vogel is thrust into Fred’s world and is shocked that someone could lead a life full of genuine kindness, love and prayer. The follows their relationship, how Lloyd is influenced by Rogers’ transforming attitude and inspires the audience to take their own journey.

Directed by Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a  sharp contrast to the pessimism and outrage from social media and films tainted with social commentary. Heller focuses on the strength of happiness, power of forgiveness and motivating people through an appeal of kindness and mercy.

Hanks is engaging in every way, believable in every way and likely won’t get credit for his immersive performance. Rhys shines as a troubled man facing his repressed emotions as his new son and the pressure of parenthood bares heavy on his shoulders.

Lloyd is such a despicable reporter that his wife learns of the Rogers interview/expose and says: “Oh lord, Lloyd. Please don’t ruin my childhood.”

That message is the one most audience members hold for their heroes as new biopics emerge nearly monthly. From Elton John to Judy Garland or Freddie Mercury, many of entertainment’s biggest star has been on trial in the form of 2019 biopics and sensibilities.

The final act of the film is much slower and less interesting than the earlier part of the film as A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood becomes a personal film for Lloyd and his dying father, played by Chris Cooper.

There is an uncomfortable standard from Rogers of forgiveness, moving past the ills of the past and becoming a better human….a message which should resonate today

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood earns 8 1/2 to 9 stars out of 10 stars

I’m a bit vague in my rating as the audience’s expectations and personal trials will greatly influence the response to the film. An objective reviewer would be far more critical (leaning towards the 8), but the uplifting nature of the film gives it a boost for me….leaning more towards my score of 9.


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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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