‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ evokes feelings of comfort, nostalgia

Written By Tia Bailey, Co-Features/A&E Editor

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On Nov. 22, the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” was released to theaters. The movie is about the beloved childhood show host Mr. Fred Rogers, with Tom Hanks taking on the role of the man himself. 

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is set up — in a way– as if it were an episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” It starts off on the set of Mr. Rogers, and the iconic theme song plays as Rogers comes into the house and puts on his cardigan. He then uses one of his bits to introduce the main character of the movie, Lloyd Vogel, who is an award-winning journalist that works for Esquire. 

Audiences get a feel for Vogel’s character as he is chided for his reputation as a journalist– he exposes the people he interviews. This leads to him interviewing Mr. Rogers, who happened to be the only one who agreed to speak to Vogel, given his reputation. 

Vogel meets and speaks with Mr. Rogers on multiple occasions, and the more he speaks to the beloved host, the more character development we see from him. The movie showcases Mr. Rogers’ kindness and love for people throughout the whole film. Audiences see Mr. Rogers as he interacts with children, makes a habit of praying for people by name, sings along to his theme song with a community on a subway and more. 

The film is based loosely off of a true story, about an Esquire journalist named Tum Junod who was given the assignment to profile Mr. Rogers. 

While “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” tackles somewhat dark, real-life issues, it still remains positive thanks to Mr. Rogers’ mindset and lessons. Even while talking about death, he remains hopeful and explains, “to die is human and anything human is mentionable. Anything mentionable is manageable.” 

This is one of the many inspirational and reassuring quotes by Mr. Rogers in the movie. Although the events of the movie are heavy, it’s still upbeat and is an overall feel-good movie. It has themes of forgiveness, friendship and kindness. 

Hanks captures Mr. Rogers’ essence and personality brilliantly in the movie. No one else could have taken on this role like Hanks, who was coincidentally Mr. Rogers’ favorite actor (as well as his distant cousin).

 “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is comforting and nostalgic, especially for those who grew up watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”