Movie Review – ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

I’ve seen the movie ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’, starring Tom Hanks, which I rented on my home computer via Google Play. I didn’t know what to expect with this movie, but I greatly enjoyed watching it with my parents. It was a very straight-forward drama film filled with uplifting messages.

I did see trailers of the movie at cinemas but never got the chance to see it. I know Tom Hanks for being the voice of Woody in the ‘Toy Story’ movies. I’ve also seen Tom Hanks in ‘Forest Gump’ and I’m pleased that he and his wife Rita Wilson survived their Covid-19 quarantine – please keep safe. 🙂

‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ is based on a true story, inspired by the 1998 article ‘Can You Say…Hero?’ by Tom Junod, published in the magazine called ‘Esquire’. The story is about a troubled journalist who gets assigned to profile the television icon called Fred Rogers, played by Tom Hanks. 🙂

Now I didn’t know anything about Fred Rogers as a television celebrity. It was interesting to watch this film and learn who he was through Tom Hanks’ performance. Fred Rogers hosted his educational children’s TV show called ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ from 1968 to 2001 in America.

As I didn’t know much about Fred Rogers, it was interesting to see how audiences praised his TV show. The film’s presentation is also interesting as it starts off being an episode of ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ with Fred Rogers showing off a picture board with portraits of some of his friends. 😀

He then introduces us to a ‘new friend’, Lloyd Vogel, who is the troubled journalist in this movie. The movie features moments of model work which we cut to now and again whilst the rest of it is of course filmed in live-action. It was so surreal to watch that during the movie, but it was very enlightening indeed. 🙂

The film’s main theme is about forgiveness as Lloyd Vogel struggles to forgive his estranged father over what happened with his mother when she died. Lloyd’s interaction with Fred Rogers makes him question his relationship with his father. It’s nice to see how it gets resolved in the film’s conclusion.

Interestingly, the film is set in 1998. I liked how Lloyd gets to meet Mr. Rogers and we even see some of his puppets like Daniel Tiger, whom I liked. I wish we had more scenes of Daniel Tiger in the film, since it does remind of a little cuddly toy dog that I have and sometimes play with. 😀 Right, Cuddles?

Cuddles: “Yay! I like Daniel Tiger! Yay!”

As well as Tom Hanks, who delivers a brilliant performance as Mr. Rogers, there’s Matthew Rhys as Lloyd Vogel, who is essentially the film’s main character and is loosely based on journalist Tom Junod. I’ve seen Matthew Rhys before since he played Mr. Darcy in the BBC TV ‘Pride & Prejudice’ sequel called ‘Death Comes to Pemberley’. It was nice to see him in this film alongside Tom Hanks. 🙂

There’s also Susan Kelechi Watson as Andrea Vogel, Lloyd’s wife, who is very patient with Lloyd when he has his moments of anger about his father. There’s also Chris Cooper, who I’ve seen in ‘The Muppets’ 2011 movie and was Norman Osborn in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’, as Jerry Vogel, Lloyd’s father. It was surreal to see Chris Cooper not play a villain this film as I’ve seen him do in others. 🙂

Overall, ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ was a nice film to watch. I’m glad my parents and I have seen it, since it does feature some uplifting messages about life and forgiveness and Tom Hanks is good as Fred Rogers. It was nice to see it for rent via our home computer in these uncertain times.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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