A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
* * * *
(A different look at Fred Rogers)
We loved last year's documentary about Mr. Rogers and were surprised to see another movie based on a true story about his relationship with a magazine journalist.
The movie zeroes in on Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and his personal interest in helping a jaded magazine journalist (Matthew Rhys) regain his faith and his relationship with his father (Chris Cooper).
Lloyd is a hard-hitting investigative reporter who is given the assignment to do a short piece on Rogers. He reluctantly meets with him in the studio during a taping of the show, as Rogers develops a keen interest in the troubled man and over a period of time teaches him forgiveness by getting inside his head and his heart.
The fact that this is a true story makes it all the more powerful, with Rogers showing Lloyd (and us) positive ways to deal with his feelings. We learn the deep wisdom of this wonderful man through the relationship he develops with the journalist and through his actions in front of the cameras and behind the scenes.
Hanks is right on with his portrayal of an icon, looking, talking and acting like him. When he is on camera, the screen turns square, like an old television picture, causing a nice effect that will bring back memories.
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" is a warm and fuzzy PG movie that should be seen by all.