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WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

The movie might look naïve and vanilla on the surface but inspect a bit closer and you'll find a complexity that fascinates and moves you.


It takes a special movie to thaw my cynical heart but almost unassumingly that's the trick that Won't You Be My Neighbor? pulled off.


Director Morgan Neville's masterstroke is that he doesn't try to get under the skin of beloved children's entertainer Fred Rogers in this truly wonderful documentary. He merely approaches his life with the same naïve wonder that Rogers himself employed in his long-running kid's TV show.


It goes totally against the grain of what you'd expect from this kind of documentary but therein lies it's brilliance, as no other approach would have informed even the uninitiated better about the enduring appeal of Rogers.


True, there is a sense of hagiography as the picture cannot appear to find a single interview subject to say a bad word about Rogers. Yet Won't You Be My Neighbor? still leaves room for you to interpret potential troubles behind the facade.


The movie might look naïve and vanilla on the surface but inspect a bit closer and you'll find a complexity that fascinates and moves you. Kinda like Mister Rogers himself.



release: 2018

director: Morgan Neville

starring: Fred Rogers, Margaret Whitmer, Tom Junod

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