The new movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, opened this weekend. Based on the 1998 Esquire article “Can You Say…Hero?” by Tom Junod, Matthew Rhys plays Lloyd Vogel, a fictional version of the real-life writer. Sent by his editor to write a profile of Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), Lloyd is cynical and jaded. On top of his latest article, Lloyd dealing with marriage, new fatherhood and his formerly absentee father, Jerry (Chris Cooper).
I really loved this movie. I loved it because it reminded me why generations of TV viewers loved Mister Rogers. It also introduced the audience to the human side of this icon. As Mister Rogers, Hanks was perfectly cast. And I loved that this film was directed by Marielle Heller, who directed one of my favorite films from last year, Can You Ever Forgive Me? The myth that women are unable to direct successful films went out the window with this movie.
I absolutely recommend it.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is presently in theaters.
I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed while watching the trailer. Adulthood can bring on cynicism, disbelief in magic and the idea that childhood is just that. My hope is that this film reminds audiences of the wonderment that is childhood and the feelings that only Fred Rogers could bring out in his young viewers.
There are a lot fanfiction writers out there. Very few are lucky enough to not only see their work in print, but also see it on screen.
PD James’s sequel to Pride and Prejudice, Death Comes to Pemberley aired the UK over the past few days. I was lucky enough to see it before my American IP address prevented me from seeing it.
The 1995 Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle minieries is not only the best filmed adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but the best of the filmed adaptations of any Austen novel. Any adaptations will always bring comparisons, but this adaptations stands on its own.
Ms. James’s novel starts 6 years after the original novel ends. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are happily married with a young son. On the eve of the annual Lady Anne Ball, Lydia arrives in hysterics that Captain Denny has been murdered and her husband is in the woods surrounding Pemberley. During investigation and trial, Georgiana must choose between duty and marry her cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam or choose her heart and marry Mr. Alveston.
I enjoyed it. Ms. James keeps the language and humor of the original novel, utilizing many of the leading characters while keeping the reader engaged in the mystery.
Taking the reins from Colin Firth, Matthew Rhys is a more mature Darcy who is deeply in love with his wife and aware of the responsibility of his station. Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth is a lively and outgoing as she is in the original novel, but with the experience of marriage, motherhood, as well as sharing the responsibility of running the estate. Lydia (Jenna Coleman) and Wickham (Matthew Goode), as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (James Fleet and Rebecca Front) are as they are in original novel.
I enjoyed both the book and the miniseries and I look forward to seeing it when it airs on PBS next month.