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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


  1. Directed by: Marielle Heller
  2. Produced by:
  3. Written by: Micah Fitzerman-Blue
    Noah Harpster
    Tom Junod
  4. Music by: Nate Heller
  5. Cinematography by: Jody Lee Lipes
  6. Editing by: Anne McCabe
  7. Release Date: 2019
  8. Running Time: 109
  9. Language: English

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood had the misfortune to arrive on the heels of Morgan Neville’s underrated Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Bryan Singer’s overrated Bohemian Rhapsody. The inevitable biopic pendulum had swung towards hagiography and appeared ready to swing back towards deconstruction. Indeed, after Neville’s wistful, nostalgic remembrance, a biopic of Fred Rogers seemed to have no new doors to open except for maybe those of a few closets that might hold skeletons. Marielle Heller’s film slips the horns of that dilemma skillfully by focusing the narrative not on Rogers but on the cynical, broken journalist tasked with interviewing him. In the film’s best scene Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) projects his own family dysfunctions onto Rogers through a series of rudely provocative questions. Rogers (Tom Hanks), rather than retreating or firing back, reveals his own pain. For Christians, the scene is a living sermon illustration of what it means to humble oneself. For everyone, it is a clear delineation between ministry and celebrity, as well as a tacit explanation of why we have so seldom seen an individual who can embody both. In the film, Rogers is the antithesis of the poetic speaker from Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask.” Rather than advocating for stifling the cries of a tortured soul so that only Christ can hear them, he grants Vogel (and through him, us) permission to utter them freely so that the wounds they stem from could begin to be healed in this world rather than only waiting for retribution or compensation in the next.

-- Kenneth R. Morefield


  1. Directed by: Marielle Heller
  2. Produced by:
  3. Written by: Micah Fitzerman-Blue
    Noah Harpster
    Tom Junod
  4. Music by: Nate Heller
  5. Cinematography by: Jody Lee Lipes
  6. Editing by: Anne McCabe
  7. Release Date: 2019
  8. Running Time: 109
  9. Language: English

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood had the misfortune to arrive on the heels of Morgan Neville’s underrated Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Bryan Singer’s overrated Bohemian Rhapsody. The inevitable biopic pendulum had swung towards hagiography and appeared ready to swing back towards deconstruction. Indeed, after Neville’s wistful, nostalgic remembrance, a biopic of Fred Rogers seemed to have no new doors to open except for maybe those of a few closets that might hold skeletons. Marielle Heller’s film slips the horns of that dilemma skillfully by focusing the narrative not on Rogers but on the cynical, broken journalist tasked with interviewing him. In the film’s best scene Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) projects his own family dysfunctions onto Rogers through a series of rudely provocative questions. Rogers (Tom Hanks), rather than retreating or firing back, reveals his own pain. For Christians, the scene is a living sermon illustration of what it means to humble oneself. For everyone, it is a clear delineation between ministry and celebrity, as well as a tacit explanation of why we have so seldom seen an individual who can embody both. In the film, Rogers is the antithesis of the poetic speaker from Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask.” Rather than advocating for stifling the cries of a tortured soul so that only Christ can hear them, he grants Vogel (and through him, us) permission to utter them freely so that the wounds they stem from could begin to be healed in this world rather than only waiting for retribution or compensation in the next.

-- Kenneth R. Morefield

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood had the misfortune to arrive on the heels of Morgan Neville’s underrated Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Bryan Singer’s overrated Bohemian Rhapsody. The inevitable biopic pendulum had swung towards hagiography and appeared ready to swing back towards deconstruction. Indeed, after Neville’s wistful, nostalgic remembrance, a biopic of Fred Rogers seemed to have no new doors to open except for maybe those of a few closets that might hold skeletons. Marielle Heller’s film slips the horns of that dilemma skillfully by focusing the narrative not on Rogers but on the cynical, broken journalist tasked with interviewing him. In the film’s best scene Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) projects his own family dysfunctions onto Rogers through a series of rudely provocative questions. Rogers (Tom Hanks), rather than retreating or firing back, reveals his own pain. For Christians, the scene is a living sermon illustration of what it means to humble oneself. For everyone, it is a clear delineation between ministry and celebrity, as well as a tacit explanation of why we have so seldom seen an individual who can embody both. In the film, Rogers is the antithesis of the poetic speaker from Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “We Wear the Mask.” Rather than advocating for stifling the cries of a tortured soul so that only Christ can hear them, he grants Vogel (and through him, us) permission to utter them freely so that the wounds they stem from could begin to be healed in this world rather than only waiting for retribution or compensation in the next.

-- Kenneth R. Morefield


  1. Directed by: Marielle Heller
  2. Produced by:
  3. Written by: Micah Fitzerman-Blue
    Noah Harpster
    Tom Junod
  4. Music by: Nate Heller
  5. Cinematography by: Jody Lee Lipes
  6. Editing by: Anne McCabe
  7. Release Date: 2019
  8. Running Time: 109
  9. Language: English

Clips

  1. A&F Discussion Thread
  2. IMDb.com
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Netflix
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