A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Biography

Learning to Love: A TIFF Review of ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’

September 9, 2019Ben MK

Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) is a cynical journalist for Esquire magazine who's developed a bit of a reputation. No one wants to talk to him because of what he writes about them. No one except Fred Rogers, that is.

Based on Tom Junod's 1998 Esquire article "Can You Say... Hero?," director Marielle Heller's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood follows Lloyd, a new father who happens to be estranged from his own terminally ill dad, Jerry (Chris Cooper). Then one day, Lloyd's editor hands him an assignment: write a 400-word profile of iconic children's entertainer Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) — an assignment that ultimately leads Lloyd down a road of emotional healing, as Mr. Rogers' universal lessons about forgiveness help Lloyd to slowly let go of the longtime burdens that have been weighing heavily on his personal life.

Thoroughly charming and utterly endearing, the result may surprise viewers expecting a biopic about Mr Rogers. However, don't let that dissuade you. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a beautiful story about the things in life that are truly important.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood makes its world premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 47 min.

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