Thank you Marielle Heller! As you did in Can you Ever Forgive Me (for which you personally weren’t nominated for direction, a shame) you’ve done it again here, once again with the forgiveness theme, in “A Beautiful Day on the Neighborhood”.
The story written by the team of Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (both also writers for tv hit Transparent) did a perfect story telling job, absolutely nailing an angry journalist’s man vs. self wrestling match with his resentment toward his father.
The acting gave me close to a religious experience. Tom Hanks is our generation’s Jimmy Stewart and we are a better world with him in it. Marry Me Rhys (oops Freudian slip, Matthew Rhys) has the soulful face necessary to carry off inner turmoil and I assume accomplished his walk off home run away from tv land. Chris Copper finally got a roll to sink his teeth into again, after a long wait from his Oscar win from Adaptation. Susan Kelechi Watson is also superb as Matthew Rhys’s wife.
I’ve been harping on the importance of moving scene moments, atmosphere and music as of late (after the drought in The Irishman and Ford V. Ferrari) and much like Honey Boy, Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood is the perfect, even a tad better, companion piece. I was producing tears by minute 10, reoccurring at minute 20, etc. Favorite scenes (not spoilers) The puppet in Mr. Roger’s NYC apartment scene, the Indian restaurant scene, Mr. Rogers swimming scene (Tracy Chapman’s “The Promise in the background…soooo pretty), the ending shot. Gorgeous, marvelous, bravo.
My conclusion comes from a gal (moi) who always loved the concept of Mr. Rogers (unconditional love), but in all honesty, always felt the show was a tiny bit awkward. BUT, this movie, my friends, I will gladly skip to see again.