Mr. Rogers has seen his popularity remain strong in the years following his death. Possibly because his kindness and peaceful philosophy of communicating with the people around him is needed more than ever. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” gives us Fred Rogers while also giving us Tom Hanks playing the iconic children’s TV star in his best performance in 25 years.
Cynical investigative reporter, Loyd Vogel (played by Matthew Rhys) is struggling with his family and career. When his boss demotes him down to a profile piece on heroes for Esquire, Loyd is forced to accept the gig and struggles with accepting Rogers’ good-nature. The two proceed to build a relationship that allows them both to grow.
What we get is Hanks’ most heartwarming film since “Forrest Gump”.
His mannerisms are excellent, the writing is wonderful and there are moments in this film where Hanks is completely lost in his portrayal of Rogers, and the commitment he gave to his program and helping the people around him. There are some of the warmest film moments in recent memory in this movie and it’s message is a self affirming one. Director Marielle Heller gives us a story that is played out through the models from the television show that is a really neat touch to the narrative.
This is a film about Mr. Rogers. It’s not “The Fast and Furious” and it moves pretty slow. This is a walk not a jog or a run. While Rhys and the rest of the cast is good, the film does drag when Hanks is missing.
I was fortunate enough to be able to watch “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” when I was a kid and “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is an honorable tribute to the man and his work.
It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Running time: 1hr 48 minutes.