A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood – Budget of $45 million – 1 hour and 47 minutes
Mr. Rogers sings his classic theme song, changes his outfit, and says hello to the audience. He has a picture box and opens the doors. Inside are pictures of his friends. One friend is a bruised and beaten Lloyd Vogel, an investigative journalist for Esquire Magazine. He has written scathing reports about people in the past. Esquire’s next issue will be filled with different heroes. The only hero willing to be interviewed by Lloyd is Fred Rogers. Lloyd doesn’t like the idea of doing a puff piece but his boss gives him no choice. Lloyd must sit with Mr. Rogers and write a 400-word profile on him. Lloyd goes home to his wife, Andrea, and talks about his latest assignment. She only has one request, “Don’t ruin my childhood.” Personally, Lloyd is mentally and physically battling his father Jerry. Jerry wants to come back into Lloyd’s life but Lloyd can’t forgive him. Mr. Rogers invites Lloyd on set and Lloyd sees the power of Mr. Rogers first hand. However, Lloyd sees this as a television personality doing his job. He doesn’t understand, it’s Mr. Rogers being Mr. Rogers. After Lloyd gets a brief interview with Mr. Rogers (which becomes Mr. Rogers interviewing Lloyd), Lloyd leaves. Later, Lloyd gets another chance when Mr. Rogers invites Lloyd to hear a string quartet taping for his show. Lloyd meets Bill – president and CEO of The Fred Rogers Company – and Mrs. Joanne Rogers, Fred’s wife. Bill tells Lloyd while Mr. Roger likes him, Mr. Rogers loves people like Lloyd. Mr. Rogers chose him after reading all his past articles. Mrs. Rogers tells Lloyd that Mr. Rogers the TV personality is not an act. It’s 100% who he’s become over time. Lloyd will see it for himself when Mr. Rogers gives him a 1-minute exercise, which changes how he sees the world, his life, his definition of fatherhood, and Mr. Rogers’s impact forever.
Based on an Esquire Magazine article, Can You Say … Hero? by Tom Junod, the beauty in silence is on full display. Mr. Rogers didn’t need anything flashy or loud to attract attention, he just needs a timer. For one minute you will be able to hear a pin drop in the theater as people complete Mr. Rogers’s assignment. This movie is filmed as one large Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood show with Picture Picture, Lady Aberlin, Mr. McFeely, and Daniel. You can experience the classic scene of Daniel and Lady Aberlin talking about mistakes as Lloyd does. And all of the crane shots are done with Mr. Rogers’s models. The bridge with cars, twin towers, and a plane are all done by models. In addition, you get a chance to see how a magazine made. Creating this movie as one large Mr. Roger’s episode gives you insight, not just into Mr. Rogers, but into Lloyd. See this movie with the family. Also, if you watch this, don’t forget to watch Won’t You Be My Neighbor.
I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars
Mr. Rogers knows my name – Andrea
There’s always something you can do with the mad that you feel – Mr. Rogers
It would be cooler if he was in the picture – Todd
If you think of him as a saint, he lives a life that is unattainable – Joanne Rogers
You got a baby and a wife. Ain’t you too old – Jerry
We get to change a broken world with our words – Lloyd