The film that Pete Hammond of Deadline called “the movie we need right now” and also a great companion to Won’t You Be My Neighbor? has arrived: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
Based on the article “Can You Say…Hero?” by Esquire and taking place in 1998, Lloyd Vogel (a fictional version of Tom Junod played by Matthew Rhys) is tasked with interviewing Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) for a special issue on American Heroes. Trying to find dark secrets about Rogers, Vogel rediscovers life through his time with Rogers and soon becomes a better writer and most importantly a better human being.
Many incredible elements help bring Mister Rogers’ world back to life: Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster’s screenplay has dialogue that is relatable to everyone and also makes you laugh and care about the characters at the same time. Jody Lee Lipes’ cinematography is enchanting thanks to the story being like an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, starting in a 4:3 aspect ratio (looking like the show itself) into becoming a 1:85:1 ratio for the rest of the movie. Nate Heller’s score is soft and beautiful thanks to the tone of the tale. Marielle Heller’s wonderful directing lets the pace and flow take its time with its scenes. And last but not least, the amazing cast full of great performances headed by Rhys and Hanks (hopeful Oscar nominations for both of them) whose chemistry and scenes together really make your heart melt especially the final time they meet in the film. People from Rogers’ life also make appearances throughout. Watch carefully.
While it is misleading (thanks to the posters) and a little slow at times, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a movie that will make you look at life in a different way and have you feel better about yourself than you were before you saw it, during a time when the world has become divided about everything going on in politics.
Office Rating: 10/10