This piece will be for an issue about heroes.
Do you consider yourself a hero?
I don’t think of myself as a hero no not at all.
A beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is based on a true story
of how a cynical journalist hiding childhood trauma meets beloved television personality Mr. Rogers for an Esquire magazine profile about heroes.
Matthew Reese plays award-winning journalist Lloyd Vogel who receives an obligatory assignment to cover Fred Rogers.
Following the initial meeting between the two men, they go on to develop a deep friendship through kindness and insight.
Mr. Rogers played by Tom Hanks helps Vogel heal from his trauma.
Sometimes we have to ask for help and that’s okay.
I started looking at many many many many hours of the half-hour of Mr. Rogers neighborhood.
I read the scripts as handwritten scripts of the shows but rather than try to go with a microscopic mole for mold imitation Fred Rogers.
It was a cadence, a quietness, a slowness.
You just take a minute and think about other people who loved us into being.
Critics say Tom Hanks’s presence and his uncanny interpretation of Mr. Rogers is as healing as the television personality himself.
Many forecast an Oscar nomination for the two-time Academy Award winning actor.
Tom Junod, the real-life journalist on whom Vagos character is based says our world steeped in aggression and incivility needs a reminder of Mr. Rogers’s message of friendship and reconciliation.
We have decided to move, you know, forward, you know, without a lot of the qualities that that that Fred embodied.
Without kindness, without mercy, do we really want to really want to be looking at Fred Rogers in the rearview mirror?
Do we do we really want to leave this kind of example behind?
A recent poll about civility in America shows that 65 percent of Americans consider incivility in the workplace, social media and public places a serious concern.
And although A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has performed reasonably well at the box office grossing about twenty five million dollars since its release,
it is nowhere near the billion dollar box of its triumph of the movie Joker, a character drama by Todd Phillips.
Work in Phoenix has received Oscar buzz for his portrayal as Batman’s antihero the Joker, a homicidal sociopath who triggers chaos and killings in the already divided city of Gotham.
Critics and audiences are divided over Joker.
Some recognized Joaquin Phoenix’s artful portrayal of a marginalized man’s descent into insanity,
while others feel that many people will empathize with a lone shooter leading to copycat acts of social violence.
As we head into the Oscar season, it remains to be seen which of the two forces that of the Joker or that of Mister Rogers will prevail.
Penelope Poulou VOA news, Washington.