Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Mysterion, Jul 23, 2019.
I miss Mr. Rogers.
It's not so much the speech patterns, it's how slow Hanks is talking as Rogers. I grew up watching Mr. Rogers, and, admittedly it's been years and years since I've watched it, I remember Mr. Rogers not talking that slow. I could be misremembering, however.
Since i'm from Germany i have never seen him in his original run (and i would have been the perfect age for his message since i grew up in the late 70s and 80s) but i'm sure i would have liked and learned from him.
I'll definitely check out the movie because of the trailer ("Don't ruin my childhood" and the subway singing were my favorite moments).
Over the content, the glossy pied piper music designed to wring emotions out of its audience, or both? In terms of content, there's not much there. The muzak was positively thick, like a commercial featuring honey dripping off a dipper. The teaser is nothing more than the usual mawkish and maudlin cookie cutter fare. And it's a bio-pic so creative liberties WILL be taken, though if it turns out none were then I'll go see it. I learned the hard way since "A Beautiful Mind". I'll stick to my memories of the TV show for what they are, for now.
Having said that, they sorta did nail it with the casting. Typecast or not, to be in the casting room watching how many people audition and Tom Hanks was the choice and it's easy to see why despite the cookie cutter faff.
The memories tied to Mr. Rogers. It could have been Tom Hanks in the cardigan and shoes, just waving to people while standing in front of a blue background, and I know I would have cried at that, too. For a lot of us, Mr. Rogers talked to our hearts, and he is felt very keenly.
I do too.
Exactly. He was a good person who cared about others.
I think what Turd Ferguson was getting at is that while Hanks has Rogers' speech pattern down pretty well, there's a touch of the Southern accent Hanks used in Forrest Gump. It's not obvious, but it comes out at least once in the trailer.
Daniel striped tiger is what gets to me.
My local minor league baseball team brought in Daniel Striped Tiger for a personal appearance last month. Kids were lining up to get their pictures taken with him before the game. So did I. I went to Walgreens the next morning and had the picture printed out 8 x 10, and it hangs on my office wall.
I'm in my mid-forties. After I got my picture taken with him -- and I know it was just a person inside a really hot suit on a muggy July day -- I cried.
Wait a minute, Daniel Striped Tiger is the size of somebody in a suit? That doesn't seem right. I think of him as a really little guy that gets scared sometimes. I understand the sentiment, though.
By the way, many of us have seen this video from 1968, and of course Fred Rogers was a genius for coming up with a way to approach the subject. But what about the great Betty Aberlin there? Wow, talk about telling a story on ones face. She's reacting to a hand puppet and I've got tears in my eyes...
There's a suit, like a sports mascot, that does appearances. It's based on the Daniel Tiger television series, and while it doesn't much resemble the puppet version I remember from childhood, the idea was close enough to be personally meaningful.
His more modern appearance for the animated series.
Tom Hanks as Tom Hanks in "America's Heart." Jason
Captain Kangaroo was who I watched as small child.
Wasn't Daniel an inhabitant of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and wasn't Betty Aberlin always referred to in that environment as "Lady Aberlin?"
Yes, and yes.
I had forgotten all of my Mr. Rogers experience by the time by son started watching the Daniel Tiger cartoon... after watching a few, old neurons kicked in and I think my body twitched when I realized the cartoon was a spin off of Mr. Rogers.
I felt so embarrassed not realizing it sooner. lol
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood opened in theaters today, so I went and saw it.
A word to the wise, before I hide the rest of my review behind spoiler code: this isn't a biopic of Mr. Rogers; rather, it's a movie about a journalist who interviews Fred Rogers, and how that encounter changes his life. If you're looking for the former, go buy/rent/stream last year's excellent documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?
OK, now my review:
Spoiler: Spoiler-laden review here
I'll admit, I went into this film with a bit of trepidation... Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was a staple of my childhood along with Sesame Street and other PBS children's programming of the early-to-mid '80s. We've venerated Fred Rogers to the point where he's a secular saint. So I was a bit hesitant to think anyone could capture the essence of the man, but if anyone could, it's Tom Hanks, the Nicest Person in America™.
Hanks truly hits the mark. He doesn't imitate Fred Rogers, rather he channels him. There's a rough resemblance, and while he doesn't have the voice quite right (especially evident when they venture into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and Hanks performs King Friday XIII and Daniel Striped Tiger), he does capture Rogers' slow, deliberate manner of speaking. He also nails the way Fred would look right into the camera like he was talking to you and only you.
The film is framed as an episode of the TV show, complete with the opening shot over the scale model neighborhood, Rogers walking into the house singing "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", and changing into his signature cardigan and sneakers. These shots are filmed on a lovingly accurate recreation of the set, and for added effect, the film jumps back and forth between being framed in 1.33:1 for scenes that take place in the show/framing device, and 1.85:1 for scenes in the real world. This framing conceit is carried further by having the model Neighborhood extend further into a model of Pittsburgh (where the show was filmed), and a model of late '90s Lower Manhattan, complete with Twin Towers (where a large portion of the story takes place).
Beautiful Day is "inspired by" Esquire journalist Tom Junod's 1998 article "Can You Say Hero?"; the film plays fast and loose with Junod's life, to the point where he asked the screenwriters to change the character's name to Lloyd Vogel (played by Matthew Rhys). Junod goes into some detail about his real-life friendship with Rogers in an essay he wrote for The Atlantic, but suffice to say, beyond the fact that Junod the person and Vogel the character are both cynical journalists who are "emotionally damaged" and have gotten themselves a bad reputation, the details of their lives differ greatly.
This film could have been so much crap, and damn does it walk a tightrope in that regard. At no point is this more evident than when Lloyd (hallucinating that he sees Fred Rogers walking around) ditches his wife and infant son at the hospital where his estranged father is dying, boards a bus to Pittsburgh to continue his interview with Fred, and quite literally has a nutty. He goes into a dream sequence where he becomes a character in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, and then is found passed out on the TV studio floor. Normally, you'd take this person to the hospital, but this being a movie, Fred takes him home, and then takes him to lunch at a Chinese restaurant once Lloyd wakes up. The scene at the restaurant, on the other hand, is purely amazing: just the two of them talking, culminating in an exercise Fred would frequently do (including, famously, during his acceptance speech at the 1997 Daytime Emmys), where you take a minute to think of those who have "loved you into being" — in our entertainment landscape of constant noise and kinetic energy and BIG! LOUD! EXPLOSIONS!, a minute of silence is stunning. It damn near moved me to tears.
Ultimately this isn't a movie about Mister Rogers, it's a movie about a man who meets Mister Rogers, and how that encounter, and the love and friendship that Fred shares with him, allows him to be able to love himself, reconcile with his father, and become a better person. But that's also part of what Mister Rogers was trying to teach us on TV for 30 years, so maybe it is about Mister Rogers after all.
9.5/10, would definitely see again, and you should too.
Yeah, I already knew the focus was on the journalist (seems obvious to me, but I guess that has to be said).
I'm seeing it tomorrow!
The trailer made it pretty clear, but I've seen enough posts around the internet referring to it as a "Mister Rogers movie" that I figured I would do my part to displell confusion.
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