“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” Movie Review


Patty J. Fahey, Staff Writer

We all hold our childhood memories near and dear to our hearts, whether it was a movie, a toy, a TV show, a park, or a friend, we all have something or someone special that shaped our childhood. For me, it was Mr. Rogers and his children’s TV show “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood”, I would watch his shows reruns every morning before preschool and would learn many things about kindness, creativity, imagination, and my feelings. Because this show was one of the biggest parts of my childhood, I knew that I had to see the new movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. This movie, unlike other movies about Mr. Rogers, isn’t just a documentary about his life, it’s a story of how he was able to change people’s lives just with his overwhelming amounts of kindness that he shared with everyone he met, this movie, in particular, follows how he changed journalist Lloyd Vogel’s life and paves the way for him to be able to forgive the people around him and become a better son, husband, and father.

When I first went to see this movie I expected it to be mainly about Mr. Rogers and what he did with his show and for Lloyd Vogel to be more of a side character. I knew that this wasn’t going to be a traditional documentary but I thought Mr. Rogers would be the main focus. I was wrong, completely wrong, this movie isn’t about what Mr. Rogers did or ever about who he was, but how his way of living life with just pure kindness and the best intentions was able to make such a huge impact on someone’s life. Lloyd Vogel is the main focus of the movie, as viewers, we see more of what he does and what he is going through rather than Mr. Rogers. This aspect is actually what impressed me about the movie the most. Because even though Mr. Rogers isn’t at the forefront, the movie still embodies what a great man he was, and for myself, it was more impactful to see Lloyd grow and develop because of everything Mr. Rogers did.

Now, to fill the shoes of Mr. Rogers is not an easy task, you are portraying someone who helped hundreds of thousands of people grow as children and understand themselves, he was an influential man. Tom Hanks did absolutely everything right. His performance was outstanding. From the soft kind voice to the warm smile, and how he talked to the children were all so authentic, you could tell that he put a lot of work into making this character perfect. It made the movie so nostalgic in every way possible and did Mr. Rogers justice.

There are moments in the movie where you transition from the story of Lloyd Vogel to an episode of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. This episode is about forgiveness. It has everything that an actual episode would have. The opening song, Mr. Rogers sharing something he brought, even showing how magazines are made with “picture picture”, and the iconic trolley going to his wonderful world of make-believe where we meet all of his puppets. This made my childhood self so happy. It also helps the audience connect with the movie, because, like in all of his episodes, he is talking to YOU. This gives the movie such a special touch leaving you as a viewer think about forgiveness in your own life, you feel connected to the story.

This movie is truly special, it has everything that a Mr. Rogers fan would want with the nostalgia and an authentic portrayal of Mr. Rogers. And for the people that maybe didn’t grow up watching you also see how a man grows because of kindness. Its touching, emotional, and heartwarming. It’s truly a movie that anyone can see, and everyone should see it. I had never actually cried during a movie before this one, which I think says a lot about how well this movie was done. It was a great new take on a documentary that truly honors what a great man Mr. Rogers was, and how important he was to everyone around him.