On Thursday, March 12 at BUFS, see Tom Hanks in his Oscar-nominated performance as Mr. Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
Jaded journalist Lloyd Vogel—based on the actual journalist Tom Junod—balks when his editor assigns him a 400-word profile on Fred Rogers. Fresh off a family feud that has gone nuclear, Vogel charges into the assignment out for blood, confident that there is an unseemly machine behind the kindly neighbour persona. But when Rogers notices Vogel’s wounds, both physical and emotional, he reaches out and tries to help in his trademark way.
“The habit of irony might lead you to suspect that some awful revelation is on the way. It isn’t,” says Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian. “Hanks brilliantly portrays Rogers’s innocence, at once elderly and childlike, his imperviousness to cynicism, his savant gift for sensing people’s unhappiness, together with a politician’s courtly way with interviewers that a certain kind of showbiz savvy has taught him.”
Director Marielle Heller’s third feature, coming quick on the heels of 2018’s highly acclaimed Can You Ever Forgive Me?, dodges all of the natural pitfalls of a dangerously sweet story to deliver a humourous, heartfelt film. There’s no doubt that Hanks helps with that feat, as does a smart production design from Jade Healy and moody cinematography from Jody Lee Lipes.
Tickets for all BUFS shows are available at the Film House in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) on the evening of screenings. General admission is $9.50 or $7 for Film House members, plus tax. Free BUFS memberships are also available on screening nights.
For more than 40 years, BUFS has been bringing the best in independent and art house cinema to the Niagara region. The society is supported by the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Brock.