Release Date: November 22nd, 2019
MPA Rating: PG (for some strong thematic material, a brief fight, and some mild language)
Runtime: 1 hr 49 min
Directed By: Bill Condon
Written By: Jeffrey Hatcher
Starring: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Cooper, Maryann Plunkett, and Enrico Colantoni.
For those of us who grew up watching T.V. in the 70s and 80s, the main character, Mr. Rogers, of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is well known. Although, the movie is not centered around Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks), he does play a vital role in the direction it takes. The focus of the movie is more around journalist, Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), who must write a profile about Mr. Rogers for his editor.
Based upon an article written by Tom Junod in Esquire Magazine, the film details the experiences of Vogel. We are introduced to him as he struggles with the resentment he has towards his father Jerry (Chris Cooper), which in turn, affects his career as a journalist, and his ability to be a good father and husband.
Lloyd, who is used to exposing dirt on celebrities, is not too happy about his new assignment. His wife, Andrea (Susan Kelechi Watson), pleas with him to not “ruin her childhood” with his article about Mr. Rogers. Lloyd has an immediate reaction when he meets Rogers on the set of his show. Rogers’ kindness towards him, catches him off balance and softens his demeanor.
For the remainder of the movie, we watch Lloyd transform as he continues to interact with Rogers. So the movie is not about the childhood hero of many, but more about how he transformed a grown man who had his own demons to deal with.
The younger generation are likely to not understand and appreciate this movie as much as those of us born in the 70s. Even so, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood will warm the hearts of any person, young or old. Hanks does a wonderful job of highlighting the traits of Mr. Rogers and how he interacted with others. I honestly cannot think of a better fit for the role than Tom Hanks.
If you’re a person who enjoys watching uplifting movies that tug at your heart strings, you will enjoy this film. Lessons on how to be a good human being can be learned from watching A Beautiful Day in theNeighborhood, just as we did as children when we tuned into Mr. Rogers. So go and watch this movie, and take what you learn, and use it in your everyday life.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars