And Fred was always, in his life, looking for healthy practices, both for himself and also for his audience for how to deal with it.”. He was hearing people’s darkest stories and they’re at their most vulnerable moments and truly he’s taking in tragedy. Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster open up about crafting the most powerful scene of the year. Both are rare paragons in an era of cracked legacies and bared failings that often demand that we reevaluate and reframe our view of heroes. Entertainment Weekly may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” is presented from the opening credits as an episode of Rogers’s program, using many of his original songs and a similar structure. He’s willing to listen to Fred in a way that he wasn’t in the first half of the movie.”. The effects of that kind magic are brought to life in the new film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. “This is a movie about someone learning how to forgive and crack open their heart, if only a little bit, to create a real change in their life,” Fitzerman-Blue explains, adding that the scene works at the film’s midpoint because it represents a turning point for Vogel’s softening heart. His childhood was challening and he was bullied for being overweight and shy. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is based on a 1998 Esquire profile of Rogers by journalist Tom Junod, but many of its details are straight from the Neighborhood … It was work for Fred. Where did that go?” Harpster asked when we spoke before addressing that final scene. He talked to Bill about those things.”. An aspect of the A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood true story that was accurately depicted was evidence of Rogers’ daily practice to be kind. There are healthy ways to deal with your anger. The scene epitomizes Harpster and Fitzerman-Blue’s unique approach to translating the Rogers legacy to the big screen, but figuring out how to incorporate the moment of silence into the fabric of their already emotionally expansive story meant toying with structure and timing. "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" isn't so much a biopic as it is a way to look at the way Mr. Rogers affected generations of children, young and grown. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood had its world premiere at the Toronto International … Mister Rogers is not the central focus of A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. He didn’t really talk to me about those things. “When Mari read the script, she said, ‘First off, we’re doing the minute of silence looking right in the camera!’ Like, all of these things we’d questioned over the years, she just got.”. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Credit: If his character seems too simple, it's likely because that's how many people saw him, uncomplicated and confined to his on-screen persona. Stinger information added and verified by Paul Curtin. It’s a perfect combination and a portrayal that doesn’t call into question childhood memories of Rogers as a perfect person. Despite the pops of nostalgia for Rogers following the release of the film and the Oscar-nominated documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the reality is that all TV shows and movies get subsumed by what Junod called “the constant, hivey drone of the electroculture.” There is no fresh Mister Rogers content coming and no remarkable envoy to preach on his message with the ability to command the same audience and respect that he had. “What [Rogers] was so committed to was allowing parents to make it safe for their children to have feelings. Screenwriters Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster spent nearly a decade exploring Rogers’ life while working on the script that would become A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood and earn them Critics Choice and WGA nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay. And I think it’s something that I want to carry with me as I move through a world where anger mounts and forgiving instincts fade so easily as to feel natural. “I … A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a movie that speaks from the heart. "A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood" is the new movie starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in cinemas now, but some of the true story has been changed for the film. Entertainment Weekly is a registered trademark of Meredith Corporation All Rights Reserved. Should you stay for the extras during the credits? A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is out in UK cinemas on January 31. Rogers’ goodness and authenticity remain unassailable 17 years after his death and Hanks inspires a similar kind of trust. Both writers say initial versions of the script always had the scene taking place inside the Chinese restaurant (it’s a scene that begs for softness of the heart, as Rogers reveals to Vogel he’s a vegetarian because he couldn’t “eat anything with a mother”), though it shifted locations after redrafts before landing in its original spot. “Fred Rogers was remarkably consistent and sort of unwaveringly amazing for 74 years,” Fitzerman-Blue tells Uproxx, adding that Rogers was, “confrontationally kind” and an “emotional archeologist.” Those are wonderful descriptors, aren’t they? Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) is a writer for Esquire , the … There was a lot [of] hand-holding and gathering around the monitors, just quivering with tears,” A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood cowriter Noah Harpster tells EW of working on Marielle Heller’s Mister Rogers-themed drama, an Oscar-worthy achievement he and writing partner Micah Fitzerman-Blue spent 10 years developing. Credit: ... Jurassic World 3's connection to TV show explained. “Over the years, people would read the script and say, ‘You can’t do that. With Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Chris Cooper, Susan Kelechi Watson. He is losing to it, to our twenty-four-hour-a-day pie fight, to the dizzying cut and the disorienting edit, to the message of fragmentation, to the flicker and pulse and shudder and strobe, to the constant, hivey drone of the electroculture…and yet still he fights, deathly afraid that the medium he chose is consuming the very things he tried to protect: childhood and silence.”. One thing that never changed about the scene, the writers say, was the moment Rogers turns to the camera and breaks the fourth wall — a move they admit could have been “schmaltzy” in the hands of a lesser director than Heller. “We got emotional on the set every day. That they do not - that, indeed, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is not merely a good movie but arguably the single best pure character study of 2019 - is because the film has been somewhat badly misrepresented by its PR people. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is now playing in theaters nationwide. (Junod was, of course, changed to Lloyd Vogel and played, wonderfully, by Matthew Rhys. But while those traumas don’t match the real ones that impacted Junod’s life and sparked his eventual friendship with Rogers, they speak to a journey that the writer took as a result of that friendship. Offers may be subject to change without notice. From Junod talking about how Rogers showed him how to let go of anger to become a better man to the words of his songs and his penchant for playing a piano at the end of a day on set, that scene feels right and it feels powerful. Based on the true story of a real-life friendship … To be open to opportunities, people, reconciliation, forgiveness,” Junod told USA Today right around the film’s release. Official Discussion: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood [SPOILERS] Discussion. Joanne Rogers, Marielle Heller on the cameos and catharsis of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Let it in. A special look at A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood shows how the crew perfectly recreated the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood set for the movie. The film opens as one large episode of the Mr. Rogers show – Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) talks directly to the audience, welcoming us and sings “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. For the next 60 seconds, Vogel and Rogers sit in quietude while the camera pans around the restaurant (diner patrons include Fred Rogers’ real-life spouse, Joanne, and David Newell, the actor who played Mr. McFeely on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) before training on Hanks’ face as he shifts his gaze from Vogel to the audience in the theater, asking us to consider the most important people in our lives as well. “Over the years, we were able to go to Pittsburgh and meet the people who knew Fred best and interview them at length multiple times,” says Harpster while recounting a “pivotal moment” with Bill Isler, who he calls the “gatekeeper” of the Fred Rogers Company. “I think that’s part of what those final moments are, which is, this wasn’t easy necessarily. Let it in. I think that’s what Mister Rogers is saying through actions inspired by Tom Junod’s story, scripted and envisioned by Fitzerman-Blue, Harpster, and Heller, and manifested by Tom Hanks. Mister Rogers’ kindness. Speaking alongside A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Heller, Hanks explained why he found Rogers a subject worth reexamining in 2019. What are you doing! Even when there is, truly, another way to be. Poll. If you've seen the film, please rate it at this poll. And that scene stands as a reminder of that message as he pounds those keys and, perhaps more importantly, as he returns to a sweeter melody a moment later. But despite Isler’s assumption that Fred had turned to his wife to vent, she offered a similar, yet surprising message, according to Harpster, when she was asked if her husband had discussed the “darkness and tragedy” that people had put onto him: “That’s a good question. And it doesn’t really matter. Summaries. We wanted the movie to recreate that feeling, to have Fred Rogers hold space for you.”. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is framed as another episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, with Fred Rogers telling the movie audience … “We asked him, ‘Fred was taking the burden of people on all day long for decades. The revolution he started — a half hour a day, five days a week — it wasn’t enough, it didn’t spread, and so, forced to fight his battles alone, Mister Rogers is losing, as we all are losing. ... Why was he angry at the end of the movie? Some movie moments are so powerful, even their makers can’t get through them without crying. '”, He continues: “To take it from that point to this moment at the Chinese restaurant with Joanne [and] all these people who had been the keepers of the flame, it was its own climax that was happening for us. “The movie behind this moment is the softening of the real Bill Isler, who, when we first came [to Pittsburgh] almost eight years ago, said there will never ever be a movie about Fred Rogers, but ‘you guys seem nice, so, I’ll keep talking to you. © Copyright 2021 Meredith Corporation. They seem to still marvel at how nothing ever seemed to divert him from his mission. Special thanks to William W. Smith for the stinger submission! In the new film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Matthew Rhys co-stars as the grizzled, cynical reporter who wants to get the lowdown on the man in … [This is a repost of my review from the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. At 91, Joanne Rogers tends to the legacy of her late husband, known to generations as Mister Rogers. Chris Agar Nov 22, 2019 A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood True Story: What The Mr. Rogers Movie Changed Consider the doomed battles Rogers quietly fought in the twilight of his career — something Esquire writer Tom Junod wrote about in the profile piece that served as the jumping-off point for the film. There is only the message, beat up like an old puppet, but capable of evoking a feeling and a response for its simplicity and truth. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. While seated opposite his latest profile subject (Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers) at a Chinese restaurant in Pittsburgh, Matthew Rhys‘ Lloyd Vogel — a cynical Esquire magazine writer grappling with deep-seated daddy issues — cracks under the therapeutic pressures of his latest interviewee, who asks him to accept his decades-old feelings of rage and frustration as byproducts of an absent father whose actions, while painful, inadvertently taught him the vital difference between right and wrong, and have helped make him into the man he is. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a touching tale of love and forgiveness, bolstered by Hanks' impressive turn as Rogers. He was able to channel his anger in productive ways and endeavored to pass along this practice to children with his show. “From the beginning, this project was a chance to have Fred Rogers talk to adults in the way that he spoke to children,” Harpster says of the film’s structure, which stages the film’s central story like an episode of the original Neighborhood show — complete with Hanks’ intermittent to-camera narration from the set of the show. He shows us pictures of some of his friends, and finally shows us a picture of Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) – it’s a […] And it’s a scene that’s worthy of revisitation ahead of the Oscars if, for nothing else, its enduring relevance. You Should STAY. In This Article: Matthew Rhys , Mr. Rogers , Peter Travers , Tom Hanks He took it upon himself to live this life and to be there for people in this way, and that came with a price.”. 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