Most would instantly recognize the camera revealing a miniaturized functional neighborhood with that soft and melodic piano beats to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the long-running educational children’s television series hosted by Fred Rogers. For many people of all ages, especially young preschoolers, Rogers’ on-screen persona was the endearing face of many broad topics from the things that happen in everyday life to the more tragic situations. But no matter what it was, he dealt with all of that with empathy and respect. Even after his death, Rogers’ legacy of kindness and love continues to resonate.
Now, his life will be depicted in a fictionalized account of an interview between a cold and cynical journalist named Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) and Mr. Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks). And Sony has released the first trailer for A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. Check out the trailer here below.
For those who grew up watching Mister Rogers, it is hard not to get a little bit misty-eyed watching this trailer. But as to whether or not Tom Hanks can “be” Mr. Rogers, well, he falls short. However, that isn’t a criticism. The actor brings a heartwarming and soft presence to the film, much like Mr. Rogers would bring in every episode of his show. Instead, it feels like we are getting another look from a completely different perspective. Sure, we could watch the documentaries like Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, but director Marielle Heller‘s take will see the beloved icon as a supportive virtuous man who is empathic and kind.
And he helps remind a jaded Vogel (Rhys) that the world, despite all of its flaws, isn’t as cold as he may think it is. In fact, you can find “positive ways of dealing with its feelings.” The writer skeptically asks, “Like what?” To which, Rogers replies, “You can play all the lowest keys on the piano, at the same time.”
Here’s the official plot synopsis:
Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor.
It may feel like the trailer gives just a little bit too much away, especially when we see Rhys and Hanks together, where Vogel tells Mr. Rogers, “You love broken people, like me.” But it does give us a sense of what kind of an impact Mr. Rogers’ legacy has.
“Sometimes we have to ask for help, and that’s okay,” Rogers reassures Vogel.
But I think the trailer’s final line is what really will connect with people, especially those who are hurting or don’t feel like they have value: “I think the best thing we can do is to let people know that each one of them is precious.”
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood opens November 22, 2019.