A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (2019) A Review

Everything about this film feels cosy and heart warming.  One of my favourite Tom Hanks performances in recent years.  I wish I had grown up with Mr Rogers 


DIRECTOR:  Marielle Heller

STARRING:  Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper

SCREENPLAY:  Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster

GENRE:  Biography, Drama

RUNTIME:  109 Minutes

★★★★ 4 Stars  

I am a fan of Biopics, I think that has been established around here by now.  But this one is a Biopic with a twist.  It doesn’t tell its story the way you would expect. Right now I work a 40-hour retail job and it’s the holiday season and this film still managed to put a huge smile on my face and warm me right down to my soul.

Lloyd Vogel is an investigative reporter working for esquire. As part of a piece on American heroes he is tasked with interviewing legendary Children’s TV presenter, Fred Rogers. During the course of this interview the two men strike up an unexpected friendship and it is this friendship that helps Lloyd to confront some of the difficulties he is having in life, with the help of Mr Rogers.

Whoever made the casting decisions for this film, deserves a standing ovation.  Who else could have fully encapsulated the goodness and loveableness of Fred Rogers better than Tom Hanks?  His performance is so amazing to watch, I would love to wake up every Saturday morning and have Tom Hanks speak to me in this soft tone and open expression.  It would certainly leave a lasting impression on me as a young child.  And this performance will leave an impression on me for a long time.  One of Hanks’s best performances in a long time in my opinion.

They use clever slides between scenes, which I imagine were made to look like the segways used during the actual show  ‘Mr Roger’s Neighbourhood.’ We didn’t get the show here in the UK, so I am using information I can gather from the Internet here.  But this added a whimsical note to the film and broke up the sometimes very heavy subject matter. 

It is impossible to come out of this film and not feel like you want to go home and hug everyone that you know.  It deals with some pretty weighty subjects, but the constant understanding and compassion portrayed by Hanks means that the audience never gets down about the sad events that happen.  

It wont be for everyone, but I think everyone has something to learn from Mr Rogers and I implore everyone to go and see this film as soon as it releases.


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