Movie review: A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood
The casting for this drama couldn't have been more spot on.
Tom Hanks, who has the reputation of being one of the nicest men in Hollywood, is perfect as Fred Rogers, the saintly host of children's TV show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001 and was loved by millions of Americans.
For those who don't know who Rogers is, a quick check on YouTube will show you, and Hanks really embodies the essence of the late US icon, earning a recent Oscar nomination for the role.
But this isn't a Rogers biopic.
Based on an Esquire magazine article by Tom Junod, who profiled Rogers in 1998, the plot revolves around journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) and his tumultuous relationship with his estranged father (a brilliant Chris Cooper).
Assigned to interview Rogers as part of the magazine's American heroes series, the cynical writer is more keen to do an expose on him. However, after spending time observing his subject, Vogel's tough outer shell slowly chips away and he learns the meaning of forgiveness and acceptance.
This predictable feel-good film comes across like a fairy tale at some points.
But credit goes to Hanks, who doesn't hide Rogers' blemishes and problems. His version of Rogers chooses not to give in to negativity, and shows that one can rise above life's struggles and still be the good guy.