A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD Review — Exactly What We Need, Exactly When We Need It

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood review — Give yourself and those you love the gift of this movie.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Review“I feel like a better person after seeing that film.”

That’s a quote from my husband as we strolled to our car after a press screening of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. With all the stress these days from politics, crime, outraged social media and lack of civility in general, it’s such an extreme pleasure, an ultimate treat, a privilege, really, to have the opportunity to enjoy one of the sweetest films ever made.

In short, the movie is based on a true story about children’s TV icon Mr. Rogers (the perfectly cast Tom Hanks), and his relationship with a cynical, troubled magazine reporter, assigned to write a feature on him. In subtle and surprising ways, Mr. Rogers teaches “Lloyd” (Matthew Rhys) how empathy, kindness, decency and honesty can right just about any wrong. That’s a message that’s so important today, as so many rage around us and threaten to pull us into their vortex of anxiety.

It seems Marielle Heller (Can You You Ever Forgive Me? The Diary of a Teenage Girl) has directed a film that is beautiful for the overall feeling more than any other aspect—a rare achievement. One perfect, profound moment sums it up: Mr. Rogers is sitting in a coffee shop with Lloyd, who is disclosing his family woes. Mr. Rogers asks him to stop and take just a moment to think about all those who “loved you into being.” Lloyd goes quiet, the coffee shop patrons and ambient noise go quiet—all on screen are all contemplating their loves ones.

My mind went quiet, as I did the same. Then I noticed the entire theater had gone quiet as well, everyone caught in that collective minute, contemplating all those who had loved us into being. After 60 seconds, the sound on screen gradually returned, and the audience silence was broken by sniffles. I’ve never had such a lovely, communal experience in a theater.

Most of the film is like that, sending a subtle message of love, peace, and above all kindness. It’s the one film not to miss this year.

Rated PG

1 Hour 48 Minutes

If this A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood review makes you feel like skipping out the the cineplex (as you should) get times and tickets at Fandango.com.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood review — Give yourself and those you love the gift of this movie.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

1 Comment

  1. […] the perfect film to begin the New Year, I can’t help but recommend Little Women, as well as A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, both films directed by females, BTW. They put us in a kinder, less contentious mood, which is […]

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