During this time of year, we are always searching for that holiday spirit- that nostalgic feeling from our childhood. The latest Tom Hanks film, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, gives that nostalgic feeling.
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood directed by Marielle Heller is the story of the relationship between Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) and Tom Junod’s whose name is changed to Lloyd Vogel in the movie. Vogel played by Matthew Rhys is an investigative reporter for Esquire magazine. He is assigned to do a “fluff” piece on Mr. Rogers (Hanks).
At first, Vogel is the embodiment of the dark side of adulthood: anger, childhood pain, pessimistic, and aloof. He has hidden from his pain by diving into his work. His marriage is strained and he hasn’t built a connection with his son yet.
When he meets Mr. Rogers he is trying to find the dark side of Mr. Rogers. He cannot fathom that someone can actually be that nice and calm.
Mr. Rogers embodies the light side of adulthood: forgiveness, kindness, inner peace, and love. As they build their relationship, Vogel is able to talk about his negative feelings to his wife, forgive his father, and build a relationship with his infant son.
As the movie progressed, that warm holiday feeling filled my body from watching Mr. Rogers practice inner peace by swimming, praying, and letting out his anger on the piano to watching Vogel break down and cry.
In a time where our country is in turmoil, it’s movies like this, along with performances by Hanks and Rhys, that remind you that love and kindness are possible. But just like building up a muscle, you have to exercise it every day.