Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Hanks Embodies Mr. Rogers in the Neighborhood

Image result for a beautiful day in the neighborhood movie

The familiar cartoon trolley cruises into view as the sing-along theme song plays in the new A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood movie. At first you see Tom Hanks take off his blue blazer and change into his red zippered sweater, but as he puts on his comfy tennis shoes and says, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” he has morphed into Mr. Rogers. This inspirational true story is loosely formatted as a Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood episode with most of the action in real life, with some transitions spliced in with the original set of the show.

- Advertisement -

Several of the favorite characters make appearances including Lady Aberlin, Mr. McFeely, along with the beloved well-worn Daniel Tiger and King Friday XIII puppets. Mr. Rogers’ new found friend, Lloyd Vogel, played convincingly by Matthew Rhys, is an investigative reporter for Esquire Magazine. Vogel is offended when he is assigned to write a 400-word piece on Mr. Rogers as a hero and makes no bones about it. His wife Andrea, played by Susan Kelechi Watson, loves Mr. Rogers and implores him to do the piece justice and “Don’t ruin my childhood.”

When Vogel meets Mr. Rogers, he asks “What’s it like to be famous?” to which, Rogers humbly replies, “Fame is a four-letter word. What matters is what we do with it.” Mr. Rogers also emphasized that “I try to look through the lens of the camera and to speak to one child.” It turns out that Mr. Rogers asks personal questions of his own, ferreting out the feud between Vogel and his father. You wonder who is interviewing who as Mr. Rogers demonstrates empathy, kindness and compassion, which are lessons that Vogel needs to learn. Vogel discovers that Mr. Rogers is much more complex than he anticipated for a children’s entertainer.  Mr. Rogers tackled tough issues including death, divorce, war, diversity and many other critical topics.

Another way Mr. Rogers demonstrates genuine care for people is when he takes pictures with many of the people he meets, so he can take them home to his wife Joanne, played lovingly by Maryann Plunkett. When Vogel asks Joanne about how Mr. Rogers is so perfect, she points out that he makes conscious choices on how to respond to anger. He had a routine of swimming, writing letters, reading scriptures, praying for people by name, and playing the low, dark notes loudly on the piano.

In the end, Vogel reunites with his family and writes a 10,000-word article which is as much about himself as it is about Mr. Rogers. His editor Ellen, played by Christine Lahti, loves it so much it becomes a cover story. The ending is sweet as Mr. Rogers brings a pie and shares it with the family, and of course takes one of his famous pictures.

The scene where Vogel and Mr. Rogers ride the subway shows how Mr. Rogers is beloved by both adults and children as everyone breaks out into the theme song together. Mr. Rogers couldn’t have been more perfectly cast as Hanks bore an uncanny resemblance. It turns out that Hanks discovered that he was Rogers’ sixth cousin, so it was definitely meant to be. The movie is slower paced and methodical, much like Mr. Rogers personality. After the movie, one lady said, “If Tom Hanks doesn’t win an Oscar, then Hollywood doesn’t get it.”

In a world where negativity seems to be so prevalent, this is an uplifting movie guaranteed to make you want to go out and spread positivity. Even though Mr. Rogers has been gone 16 years, he has had a resurgence of fame with last year’s documentary which also emphasized his motto “A little kindness makes a world of difference.”

Image result for a beautiful day in the neighborhood movie
Hanks resembled Mr. Rogers right down to his mannerisms.

Movie times: click here

Genre: Drama

Director:  Marielle Heller

Written by:  Micah Fitzerman-Blue, Noah Harpster

Actors:  Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Cooper, Wendy Makkena, 

Running Time: 108 minutes

Rating: PG

 

 

Support Coronado Journalism

Your support will help to expand coverage of the issues, people and events happening in our Coronado community. Local news matters!
Support The Coronado Times


Keep it civil. Comments may be removed or closed if they violate Terms of Service.

Avatar
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com
Advertisement

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Use Our Money to Improve Our Lives

Submitted by Barry & Susan AustinIn the Eagle last week, Councilmembers Heinze and Sandke asked for feedback about how some of our...

Election Integrity

Submitted by Frank CorahIt is vitally important in this contentious Presidential election that the American people, regardless of their political persuasion, trust the election...

Fate of The Ferry Landing Marketplace at Risk

Submitted by Marilyn FieldBad news for those who appreciate the quirky charms of The Ferry Landing Marketplace buildings: their fate is hanging in the...

This Isn’t Coronado

Submitted by Carolyn RogersonRecently Coronado has been in local news and national social media for a sad, shocking reason. Those who would not like...

NEW STORIES

City of Coronado Partners with CSU Long Beach’s Shark Lab to Tag Sharks

The City of Coronado is partnering with CSU Long Beach’s shark lab to learn more about the local shark population. This comes after an...

Meet Annika Laughlin – Emerald Keeper of the Month!

If you want to feel hopeful about the future, spend a few minutes chatting with Annika Laughlin, Coronado High School graduate, class of 2020!...

Coronado Teen Publishes Book of Short Stories: “The End of Heaven”

Coronado local and high School junior Jamie Piearcy spent quarantine time writing her first book, The End Of Heaven: Explore the Depravity of True...

Navy to Decommission Fire Damaged USS Bonhomme Richard

WASHINGTON – After thorough consideration, the Navy has decided to decommission USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), a Wasp-class amphibious assault ship, due to the...

Coronado’s Amanda Russell Makes the Holidays Shine Brighter with Christmas Giving

A child needs new eyeglasses for school, but his parents can't afford them. A father can't drive to work because the family car is...