“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” with Tom Hanks as Mr. Rodgers

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood when you see a finely crafted reminder of how special we all are and who Mr. Rodgers is. Mr. Rodgers is one of the better angels among us.  Mr. Rodgers and this movie might be timeless.

This movie is highly recommended. However, it is much more than a typical feel-good, and it’s not just because the venerable Tom Hanks is in it .

The movie reminds us how to deal with fear and anger, which is timely and applicable given our ongoing social upheaval. So, don’t delay; you’ll get more from it than anything Trumpian.  As well, the teachings are directly applicable to the wider concerns of social justice and humanity. 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!
A Heroic Better Angel

The movie is based on an article by journalist Tom Junod, “Can You Say Hero?“, which is itself beautiful. It is a true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and Junod. The star of the movie is Matthew Rhys, who plays Junod.

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”, via Hanks-Rhys interplay, lays out the what, why, and how of Mr. Rodgers’ life work.

Sample practices of Mr. Rodgers as shared in the movie:

  • Primarily,  Mr. Rodgers works to “give children positive ways to deal with anger and feelings”.  He makes the child in front of him realize he is special and important.
  • Mr. Rogers tells Lloyd that his pained relationship with his father has shaped who he is today. In the end, Mr. Rogers tells a grieving family that death is part of being human.
  • The movie shows the humanness of Mr. Rodgers, depicting how he deals with the burden of his fans telling him their problems all day.

These days we all need to stay positive as we live up to momumental problems and fears. Yes, it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, when we draw from the lessons of this movie.