Review: A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

We’ve all grown up watching the same, classic Tom Hanks films.

The man has lit up our screens since before we can remember, becoming the living legend that transformed himself into some of our most beloved characters; Josh Baskin in Big, Woody in Toy Story, and Forrest Gump in well… Forrest Gump. But as of 2020 Tom has surpassed himself yet again, bringing children’s television star Fred Rogers back to life in his latest film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. 

The film itself is a truly uplifting piece of cinema – as wholesome as the real life Hanks. Its premise is forgiveness, following the story of a journalist who resents his father after his mother’s death. Commissioned to write an article for Esquire magazine, journalist Lloyd Vogel attempts to interview Rogers, intending to prove that the children’s TV hero is not all he appears to be. However, it seems the writers opted to reignite the fire that worked so well between one of our favourite dynamic duos of the past; just as Woody learned to love Buzz, Vogel realises that Rogers is actually all he appears to be, if not more!

Hanks captures the essence of Rogers completely; a smiling, gentle figure that cares deeply for anybody and everybody. Whilst none of us have likely met Tom Hanks, I’d imagine they’re pretty much the same person. Fred Rogers was the hero entertainer that helped children through some of life’s toughest trials, just as Hanks entertained and enriched our childhood years with his endearing performances. Thus begins a love letter to our hero, Tom Hanks. 

Simply put, he’s just a great guy. Both on screen and in real life. The man that voiced Woody could never speak a bad word, and the guy that ran for miles as Forrest could surely never do any wrong! Tom Hanks is the King of Hollywood, the sage that blessed our screens and the Grandfather we wish we had. Even at the age of 63, he still manages to slip into a pair of speedos – another of the films many selling points if that’s what you’re into. Unlike his character, Hanks is a living legend that still has the power to captivate our full attention. Roughly ¾ of the way through the film he does so emphatically, calling for a few moments silence which the audience is only too happy to oblige. Happy because it’s Tom Hanks. 

One of the most memorable moments in the film is a small piece of advice spoken by Rogers. Maybe it’s due to an over-active imagination, or maybe it’s down to an adoration for the actor, but it seems as though the words were spoken by Hanks himself; sending out a message of hope to all the students across the globe. In a moment of melancholy happiness, the actor professes that  ‘anything mentionable is manageable’. So I’ll go ahead and say it for us all. Dissertation.

If Tom Hanks believes it’s manageable, then it must be so. 

P.s. We love you, Tom. Get well soon.

Featured Image by Sony Pictures Entertainment