Tuesday, December 10, 2019

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

As I sat to watch "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" I realized that the two women sitting a few seats down were not interested in being silent throughout the movie. It made me mad. It made me grumpy. Much like the main character in the film, Lloyd (The Americans' Matthew Rhys). Lloyd is a cynical journalist who writes for Esquire and is tasked with writing a short piece on Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks). As in the children's show guy. It turns out getting to know the perennially positive Fred Rogers was all the disgruntled Lloyd needed. You see Lloyd has some serious issues with his estranged father Jerry (Chris Cooper) and by the film's end Lloyd, much like the young viewers of Fred's show, will learn a very important lesson. And by the film's end I also was swept up by the positively set forth by director Marielle Heller's clever film. The film's script wisely avoids the trappings of a traditional biopic - of which this is not -  and Hanks turns what initially seems like an impersonation into something much greater. The film won me over and I was almost able to forgive my talky seatmates. Almost.  GRADE: B+

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