A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) Review

Based on the true story of the friendship that was built between Fred Rogers and journalist Lloyd Vogel who was only supposed to have one interview and write a short piece. This developed into something so much more than he could have ever imagined.


Set in 1998 Lloyd Vogel working for Esquire as a journalist is known for his cynical writing style, when he is given a 400 word assignment to write about Fred Rogers he feels this is beneath him. He travels to meet Rogers in Pittsburgh but it doesn’t go to plan when he is more interested in getting to know Lloyd than take part in the interview. Showing concern for the reporter who had a black eye, this was due to a fight with her estranged father at his sisters wedding.

Over time Lloyd and Fred get to know one another in very different ways. Considering Lloyd wanted nothing more than his interview to reveal that Rogers was not as friendly as he appeared on his TV show. Nothing could be further from the truth though when he really is just a truly lovely and kind man.

That then raises the question why we aren’t all more kind to one another? That was certainly something that the film made me think about and quite frankly wonder what is wrong with humanity. Maybe a little bit deep but that is how much it all struck a cord with me. Leading me to realise just why this film has so many good things said about it. Taking into consideration life and how we all should really be a lot more kind to those around us. Even more so family and friends, who seem to be the ones that you will end up neglecting and being angry towards.

A truly wonderful and outstanding film that really helps to highlight that we could all do with being so much kinder not only to others but to ourselves as well. That is one of the messages I picked up from watching this film and something that hit me rather personally, as I feel I am always hard on myself and my own worst critic. Why not be kind to yourself as well? Could anyone ever be as nice as Fred Rogers and wasn’t Tom Hanks the truly perfect actor to take on this role.

Tom Hanks takes on the task of becoming Mister Rogers, now being in the UK this is not really a person that I knew anything about prior to watching the film. But learning about his background and seeing it all unfold throughout the film. The kindness and truly nice nature is perfect for Hanks, as he comes across as one of the nicest in Hollywood. Matthew Rhys puts in an equally impressive performance and I found his cynical nature an actual joy to watch, mainly because we are all a little bit more like Lloyd than Fred? That sounds about right. Rhys and Hanks share some truly lovely scenes and it makes the film a true joy from start to finish.

Considering all of the great and positive things I had heard about A Beautiful Day in the Neigborhood it made me a little bit nervous about eventually catching up and watching it. With it being built up so much its always concerning that you could well be let down, but I am more than happy to report that is not the case at all and it is just so damn wonderful.

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