Tom Hanks' Fred Rogers meets with journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) in a new image from the upcoming film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. One year after acclaimed documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? celebrated the life and accomplishments of the beloved television personality, the Mr. Rogers story is getting the traditional biopic treatment. The project sports tons of talent all around, with director Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) calling the shots and Hanks leading an ensemble that includes Rhys, Chris Cooper, and others.
Scheduled for release in November, distributor TriStar definitely has high ambitions for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. If all the pieces fall into place, it could be one of the leading contenders at the 2020 Oscars (though, it's quite early to make those kinds of predictions right now). When production on the film started last year, the studio celebrated the occasion with a first-look image of Hanks as Rogers, which excited many viewers. Now, they've shared another picture from the film, teasing the movie's primary conflict.
In celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Day, Sony Pictures posted a photo from A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood on their official Twitter account. In it, Rogers meets with Vogel, a cynical journalist tasked with writing a profile on Rogers. The character of Vogel is based on Tom Junod, who wrote a piece about Rogers for Esquire.
According to Mister Rogers, “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD in theaters Nov 22. #RandomActsOfKindnessDay @ABeautifulDay | 📸: Lacey Terrell pic.twitter.com/DMbYZstW94— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) February 17, 2019
Based on the film's synopsis, the main crux of the narrative revolves around the relationship between Rogers and Vogel, which significantly impacted the latter's outlook on life. Though A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is obviously a period piece, its themes should be very relevant to today's divided times. No one's going to argue the film will solve all the world's problems, but hearing a message like "be kind" could be a nice antidote and possibly inspire viewers to do what they can to make the world a better place. Admittedly, that does run the risk of coming across as old fashioned and corny, but after Heller impressed with her deft handling of Can You Ever Forgive Me?, there's every reason to believe she found the right approach to this project. Ideally, the A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood won't reduce its subject matter to simple black and white terms and provide a well-rounded outlook, enhancing the character arcs.
Documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? set the bar pretty high for future films about Mr. Rogers, but A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood looks like it'll have the goods to deliver a rewarding viewing experience. Hanks typically thrives in roles like this and reads as the perfect choice to bring Rogers to life. It'll still be a little bit before Sony ramps up the marketing campaign in earnest, but they're definitely excited for audiences to check out A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and for good reason.
Source: Sony Pictures
- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) release date: Nov 22, 2019