Tom Hanks channels Mister Rogers in this story of forgiveness and honesty. Fred Rogers applies kindness and empathy on a cynical magazine writer. The young writer, who has come to profile Fred Rogers, finds a man who can help him heal his angry heart. The world of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, where Fred Rogers crafts meaningful life lessons for kids, also have impacts on troubled adults, too.

The director of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Can You Ever Forgive Me?), captures the essence of Fred Rogers while keeping the story from tumbling into mawkishness. The screenplay by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster is based on an article by Tom Junod. Junod’s 1998 profile of Fred Rogers ran in Esquire magazine. In A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, the writer–who’s renamed Lloyd Vogel (played by Matthew Rhys)–not only becomes Fred’s friend, but finds himself confronted by the problem at the core of his life. Bring some Kleenex. GRADE: A


  1. Jerry House

    My beautiful bride refused to have Mr. Rogers on out television for quite some time. He had some skit where one puppet was a shoemaker who said (I’m paraphrasing here), “I’m a shoemaker and I work all day making shoes,” and another puppet said, “I’m the shoemaker’s wife and I work all day cooking and cleaning for him.” My wife uttered a few words I did not know she knew and said (again, paraphrasing), “Get that @#$% off the television, I’m trying to raise two girls here!” This was in the pre-“woke” days, and I’m sure Mr. Rogers changed his views on the role of the sexes in time, but this remains a sore spot with the light of my life.

    Putting that aside, there’s a lot to be said about a man who preaches kindness and means it.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Sounds a bit like JULIA AND JULIA. I don’t need to see half (or more) of a movie about some miserable writer I never heard of. Will wait for this one.

  3. Patti Abbott

    I liked it a lot although I cried the whole time. Today I learned that the writer’s story about his father was completely fictitious, which sort of cast a pall on it for me. If it wasn’t so much a part of this movie it would not have bothered me. But it was almost as much of the story as Mr. Rogers was.

  4. Deb

    When the twins were little (and I was in my stay-at-home Mom days), we would have lunch at noon, watch Mr. Rogers at 12:30, and then they would go for their nap. It was a nice way to lead into nap-time: very gentle and kind. It says something about our world that kindness and empathy are such rare commodities that we make a movie about someone who possessed them.

    /By the way, I always think of myself as Lady Elaine Fairchild.

    1. Jeff Meyerson

      “Lady Elaine Fairchilde is an outspoken, cranky schemer” according to Wikipedia!

      “Although a frequent antagonist, she is not portrayed as evil, but as someone who challenges authority, particularly King Friday’s authority, as she often has rows with the King.”

      Sounds right.

      1. george Post author

        Jeff, we’ve seen Deb (aka, Lady Elaine Fairchilde) shake things up and challenge Authority each time she takes to her soapbox.

  5. wolf

    Reading this I realize again that in Europe we see only a small selection of movies, tv series etc from the USA – the same goes for books.
    Sometimes I wonder what the selection criteria are.


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