A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day...Neighborhood

February 09, 2020

This event occurred as part of the 19/20 Hop Film season. This is an archived view.

Tom Hanks zips up his cardigan as (son of Dartmouth!) Fred Rogers in Marielle Heller's timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism.


Marielle Heller's film isn't a standard Rogers biopic, in the vein of last year's acclaimed documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? Heller instead excels at pulling heartstrings from sturdy foundations, injecting smart and insightful details into material that could easily default to sentimentality. After all, this is the director who's Can you Ever Forgive Me? changed the way the world viewed Melissa McCarthy. It doesn't hurt that Tom Hanks was born to play this role.

Based on a true story, the film is filtered through the lens of misanthropic journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), who visibly blanches when assigned to profile the iconic children's television host for a 1998 issue of Esquire devoted entirely to heroes. But like a secular Buddha in a red knit cardigan, Mister Rogers (impeccably and lovingly portrayed by Hanks) slowly dissolves Lloyd's skepticism with gently probing questions and Zen observations, teaching him about kindness, love and how to be a good neighbor. D: Marielle Heller, US, 2019,

Academy Award Nominee for Best Supporting Actor (Tom Hanks).

“Marielle Heller mines intelligent observations and storytelling twists from the ultimate sentimental subject. ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ is designed to sneak up on you.”


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