It is indeed a beautiful day in the neighborhood for a movie trailer to come along and cleanse the palate of the sin against humanity that is the Cats trailer. The Mister Rogers biopic starring Tom Hanks will do just that.
In A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood, Hanks stars as Fred Rogers, the television personality known for his public access educational children’s program, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The film is based on an Esquire article, “Can You Say…Hero?” by Tom Junod and is directed by Marielle Heller, who previously made sleeper hits Diary of a Teenage Girl and Can You Ever Forgive Me?. The real Fred Rogers passed away in 2003, and was the subject of Morgan Neville’s 2018 documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?. Rogers often emphasized the importance of unpacking feelings and emotions.
Matthew Rhys stars as Lloyd Vogel, a fictionalized version of Junod who is assigned to write a magazine profile of Rogers near the end of his career, and eventually finds himself transformed by Rogers’s kindness and openness throughout the interview process. Susan Kelechi Watson (known for her role as Beth Pearson on This Is Us) plays his wife, and she gives her husband a request in the trailer that will likely resonate with anyone waiting to read a profile of the man who was America’s beloved de facto dad for decades: “Please don’t ruin my childhood.”
Some might call A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Oscar bait (it will be released just in time to compete with the other contenders, on Thanksgiving later this year) but if you dry your eyes a bit while watching the trailer, there is one universal truth that rings out loud and clear: there is almost nothing more wholesome than Mister Rogers, except for maybe Hanks singing “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” while donning that iconic red cardigan.