A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) – Review

For a lot of people Fred Rogers, known mainly as Mr. Rogers was a huge part of their childhood. So if you are one of those individuals who has fond memories of his PBS show you’re going to love this movie. If however, you were never all that into his show this movie is going to be a rather saccharine experience.

This film is best experienced at home. This isn’t due to the movie being of low quality, it’s because of the type of experience it is. Because of the amazing acting from Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys, the two stars of the movie. The story is engaging but these two men elevate this film to something memorable. The rest of the cast put in good but not overly memorable performances.

While the audience will get some insight into the life of Fred Rogers this isn’t as much of a biopic as one would believe it to be from the trailers. That will be disappointing for some but if you’re just looking for a good drama then you’re in luck. The movie ultimately focuses on the character Lloyd Vogel (Rhys), a jaded journalist who is a recent father. Vogel is based on real-life journalist Tom Junod. Junod’s experience with Mr. Rogers was utilized as the inspiration for this film.

If you’re into the technical production side of filmmaking you’re in for a real treat. The cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes utilizes creative usage of aspect ratio to differentiate moments in storytelling and as beautiful to look at transitions between scenes. Some people will find the constant switching between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect a little jarring but overall it isn’t all that bad. Another absolutely lovely aspect is seeing the production team recreating some of the famous elements of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The miniature work, which is a dying art form is super well done and very reminiscent of the PBS show. Also, sound designers should take note. This is how you do audio mixing for a biopic. The dialogue is at the perfect volume to actually hear what’s being said and the music isn’t painfully loud.

Basically, if you love engaging dramas this movie is for you. This movie gets a very high score of 9 / 10 and it’s not hard to see why critics loved this film.

So have you seen this movie? If so what did you think of it? Also, do you have fond memories of Mister Rogers? Comment below.

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