The perfect childhood hero

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood brings joy to the big screen

Tom Hanks stars as Mr. Rogers in the new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The movie follows a journalist, Lloyd Vogel as he interviews Mr. Rogers for a magazine profile about heroes. 

Tom Hanks stars as Mr. Rogers in the new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The movie follows a journalist, Lloyd Vogel as he interviews Mr. Rogers for a magazine profile about heroes. *****/5

Anna Blumenthal, Staff Reporter

Everyone has a hero from their childhood. From parents to characters on a screen, most children find a role model that they can look up to. For many, this icon was Mr. Rogers. He is famous for hosting the show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which taught kids helpful ways to deal with their emotions and heavy topics. The new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, shares the wonderful story of Mr. Rogers and how he helps heal a broken person.

The film follows Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) a journalist who is tasked to write a profile about Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks) for a magazine article on American heroes. Despite being skeptical at first, Vogel spends time with Mr. Rogers and quickly learns the ways in which he helps people work through their problems. From interviewing him, Lloyd Vogel gets help navigating around his murky family situation. The movie is a beautiful story about how one insanely kind individual can make a large difference in peoples’ lives.

I think that a lot of people struggle with showing positivity and joy to those around them. By watching this film, it was a helpful reminder that the smallest acts of kindness can make someone’s day. The juxtaposition of characters in the film helps to support this message. Lloyd is very pessimistic and does not believe that people are inherently kind due to his awful childhood. On the other hand, Mr. Rogers is good-natured at heart and believes that everyone has happiness deep down inside of them. It was very powerful to watch these opposite personalities affect each other and form a deep friendship. I left the theater feeling a sense of happiness inside, and I found it inspiring to watch a man go from being so cynical to optimistic with the help of just one nice person. 

Another surprising element to the film was how whimsically it was filmed. All the transitions are filmed like the transitions in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, with animated planes and houses. As a young adult, it is easy for me to hate on things such as puppets and toys, but the film brings back childhood memories of having favorite toys and watching popular TVshows. I felt nostalgic throughout the entire movie which is something that not a lot of films make me feel. Although the film dealt with deeper topics, such as a broken family relationship and death, it is still light-hearted all the way through. All the comfort and warmth during the film leaves the audience feeling healed at the end just like Lloyd was.

Despite loving almost everything about this movie, there were some parts where I found it difficult to follow along. In one part of the movie, Lloyd starts having hallucinations and ends up fainting while going to see Mr. Rogers. The scene felt like one big fever dream and I couldn’t tell what was actually going on. Despite that unneeded part, there was no other negative points to the movie.

As a huge Tom Hanks fan, I think it is safe to say that A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood marks another huge success for him. Although the movie is not much about Mr. Rogers himself, it shares an even bigger story about the impact one person can have on another. When the movie was over, I had an overall want to do good deeds for others and to pursue a life of happiness. The film left me very moved and I’m sure that it will do the same for many others who go and see it. With the holiday season upon us, this movie is the perfect thing to watch to remember the true spirit of appreciating those close to us.