A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ★★★★

This is a really adorable movie. Lately I’ve been on a little bit of a cynical bend, and I initially started watching this movie with a very snobbish mindset. But it surprised me. It’s a very well made biopic and it has a lot of heart. The decision to lovingly recreate the Mr. Rogers TV show as a narrative framing device was such a beautifully rendered aesthetic. I responded a lot to it, and it paired well with the sensitivity and the honesty of the performances.

Chris Cooper, Matthew Rhys, and Tom Hanks, all give wonderful performance. Tom Hanks being good in a movie is not a given, not for me at least. I didn’t care for his performance as gruff-voiced Ben Bradlee in Spielberg’s The Post, but that might have more to do with what a dull, uninspiring, Oscar-baity movie that truly was. Actually, the only part I remember about that movie is that ridiculous MCU post-credits style ending with Nixon. The memory of duds like that partially informed my initial disinterest in this film.

However, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is very passionately realized. You can tell the director cares so much about her subjects and you can tell she has a very precise vision. The result is a nice, pleasant little drama with some enlightening things to say about love and family. Even the most mean-spirited viewer will be entertained by its sweetness and positivity.