A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

In Theatres: 
Nov 22, 2019
Running Time: 
107 minutes

There has arguably never been a more wholesome person than Mr. Rogers so it’s no surprise that Hollywood would cast the second most wholesome person to play him on the big screen; Tom Hanks. It’s a match made in heaven and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is an absolutely loving tribute to Fred Rogers as it showcases how even the coldest of hearts can be warmed by his love and compassion. Be sure to bring tissues, because you’ll no doubt need them.


Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) is a journalist who always sees the worst in people and has a knack for bringing that out in his profiles, making him somewhat hard to work with in the writing industry. His editor decides to have him profile the famed Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for a profile in their upcoming heroes issue. As Lloyd talks to Mr. Rogers, he fully expects to see a much darker person than the character he portrays on television, but to his surprise he learns that the two are one in the same.


I expected A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood to be a film about Mr. Rogers but in truth it’s a film about Lloyd Vogel with Mr. Rogers there as the driving force who gets him to open up about his emotions. It’s Lloyd’s story to tell and Mr. Rogers is just along for the ride. That being said, it’s an absolutely heartwarming story to see unfold.


Fred Rogers was a ray of sunshine in a dark world, and his legacy remains so to this day. While it’s impossible to fully step into his shoes, Tom Hanks is clearly the best person for the job. It’s difficult to see him as Fred Rogers, however, as it’s more Tom Hanks doing his best impression of the children’s television host. It’s not bad, and Tom Hanks is a fantastic actor who pulls off his mannerisms quite well; he’s the kind of guy who will make you feel like the most important person in the world. It takes a moment to get past the fact that you’re watching Tom Hanks, but after a while it doesn’t really matter. You’re still listening intently to every word his says, just like Mr. Rogers.


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood shows audiences that it’s okay to let your feelings out. Rather than tell the story of Fred Rogers, who lets be honest most people already know, it tells the story of one of the many people he’s impacted. Like many of us, Lloyd lives in fear and struggles to let those around him into his life. He has difficulties connecting with his newborn and wife, meanwhile his absentee father (Chris Cooper) has decided to show back up in his life. It’s with Fred Rogers’ help that we see Lloyd take the necessary steps to turn things around. 


The film is like watching an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood with its message of love, kindness, and forgiveness, as if Mr. Rogers is speaking directly to the audience through Lloyd. For almost two hours you’ll become a kid again, listening intently to every word Mr. Rogers says. There’s a lot of darkness around us in today’s society, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a warming beacon of light that reminds us that there is still beauty and goodness left in the world. 

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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