A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood - Movie Review
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is directed by Marielle Heller and stars Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Chris Cooper. The film follows journalist Lloyd Vogel, and how his life is enriched by friendship when he takes on an assignment profiling Fred Rogers. The movie is based on the real-life friendship between journalist Tom Junod and television star Fred Rogers.
Paul Asay of Plugged In describes this movie perfectly. In describing A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood he states, "many a movie will make you laugh or cry or think. But very few make you want to be a better person." I believe that statement truly represents how this film will make audiences all around the world feel. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is written beautifully, and is able to invoke laughter, sadness, joy, empathy, and more as the audience watches this great story.
Tom Hanks excels in the role of Fred Rodgers and not only honors the man he is portraying, but also transforms into Rodgers himself. Hanks is able to show just how good this man was and how we should strive to be a light in the world just as Rodgers did himself. This film also does an amazing job as Richard Roeper from the Chicago Sun Times puts it, "of reminding us this saintly man was not a saint. He he had a bit of a temper. There were times when his sons rebelled and nearly shut him out. (As the film aptly points out, having Mister Rogers as your father could be pretty cool but also quite the burden)." All this would not be able to be as well received if we did not have a Class A talent playing Rodgers in Hanks. I not only hope, but also predict Hanks will get a Best Supporting Actor.
In regards to the rest of the cast, they are all able to portray their characters with excellence. Matthew Rhys, as the lead, has a gargantuan task of playing the lead over Hanks. Even though Hanks steals the show, Rhys is able to make his own mark on the movie and does a great job as the lead in the film.
The only real issue I can see people having with the film is the filming and direction that is used in certain scenes. There are interesting choices made to how the story is being told to the audience that may be perceived as either confusing or cheesy to some viewers. Though I probably would have rather seen the story be told in a more traditional way, the unique storytelling used in the movie didn't bother me either.
All in all, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a powerful movie that through brilliant writing and acting is able to inspire audiences through it's message of kindness, forgiveness, and understanding.