'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood' Warms Hearts at the Winter KCET Cinema Series on November 19

Q&A immediately following with actor Susan Kelechi Watson and production designer Jade Healy.

When investigative New York journalist Lloyd (Matthew Rhys) takes on an assignment profiling Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) he’s not expecting his life to be forever changed. Based on the real-life friendship between journalist Tom Junod and television star Fred Rogers, the film is in an intimate look at a series of interviews between the iconic television star and a jaded journalist whose cynicism is chipped away by the gentle and enduring kindness of the beloved Mister Rogers. A supporting cast includes Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Cooper as the wife and father of Matthew Rhys’ character, respectively.

Set in Fred Rogers’ very own Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the film is directed by Marielle Heller (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) and written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue (“Transparent”) and Noah Harpster (“One Mississippi”). The story is inspired by the 1998 article "Can You Say... Hero?" by Tom Junod, published in Esquire.

Story continues below

“I think it’s clear by the way that everybody is reacting to anything about Mister Rogers right now, that we are thirsty and starving for guidance in this world,” Heller said.

“We are at a point where it feels like the divide, politically, is bigger than ever, it feels that way. I don’t know if that’s true, but there’s so much violence and there’s so much to be confused by, and to feel lost in. And I think finding and hearing Fred’s voice is really reassuring in these times. There’s something about his message that feels more important now than ever.”

The film screens at 7:00 p.m. at the ArcLight Cinemas in Sherman Oaks. Immediately following the screening, Deadline’s chief film critic Pete Hammond, who can also be seen on KCET’s Must See Movies, will moderate a Q&A session with actor Susan Kelechi Watson and production designer Jade Healy. “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” will be released by Sony Pictures on November 22, 2019.


We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading