Movie Review: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

December 8th, 2019

Details from IMDB:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)

PG | | BiographyDrama | 22 November 2019 (USA)
Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod.


 Marielle Heller

Initial Thoughts:

Tom Hanks is one of the best actors alive, I love everything he does (well except a few duds in the 80s) and I will often see a movie just because he's in it and I know he'll be great. Combine that with the fact that he is playing one of the nicest people ever, Fred Rogers and Hanks himself is known as the nicest guy in Hollywood...well it was a no brainer for sure that I would see this.

Main Points:

The surprising part here is that the movie is not focused on Rogers, instead, it's how he helped heal the emotional wounds of a reporter who interviewed him in the late 90s. Through the interview process, we do get to see how kind and special Rogers is but more importantly we see the connections he made with people. We see how this reporter who was known for not liking his interview subjects grew to become a close friend of Rogers, someone he loved and respected.

The movie deviates from the truth of course, but virtually all bio-pics do, it's just the way it is with a Hollywood movie. That doesn't change the deep exploration we find here on how to deal with our emotions (especially the strong ones like anger, hate, and love). The film is a study in not only what it means to be human but how to be a better person. It's not about showing how Rogers was a saint, he had flaws like any person but how he gets beyond them and truly helps both children and adults in every way he can.

It goes without saying that Hanks is amazing here. While he doesn't look much like Rogers', he does his mannerisms so perfectly that you almost believe it is him. Hanks shows a complete picture of him and while I thought it would be Joaquin with Joker, I have to say from what I've seen this year Hanks deserves his third Oscar.

Chris Cooper and Maryann Plunkett also turn in some good performances. The movie is a little shaky at first, but after 10 minutes I was enthralled and loved every minute. The time flew by and I could have easily watched more.

Final Thoughts:

You need to see this movie. If you ever loved Mr Rogers or even if not just for Tom Hanks amazing job. The movie deals with loss, the love of a father and son (and mother and son), marriage and children. The authentic emotional moments are often, and I'll also say this is certainly a tear-jerker. There is some violence and some mature scenes, so I would say ages 12+ but some children may be fine at younger ages. One of the best movies I've seen this year, a very strong 9 out of 10 from me. A very strong recommendation from me. Do yourself a favor and see this, you'll be glad you did.