Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Movie Review

Official Synopsis:

An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children’s television host, Fred Rogers.

Review Summary:

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is an emotionally touching documentary from the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind 20 Feet From Stardom, Morgan Neville. This doc covers the life and times of Fred Rogers, famed host of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

I was concerned initially that this doc would fawn over Rogers’ history, coming off as a simple love letter and nothing more. I was pleased to learn that the film dives deep into his legacy, his mind, and his life. Rogers would often use his show as a way to help children cope with national tragedies, and to communicate important life lessons about acceptance among people of all races or backgrounds.

He was a tortured artist, constatly dealing with self doubt and concern over his art. He felt that he wasn’t reaching children the way he hoped he could. Even still, he never gave up. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was informative, entertaining, and powerful. It should be required viewing for hopeful documentary filmmakers, or fans of Fred Rogers.

(See the above video review for a more in-depth discussion)

Grade: A

Directed by: Morgan Neville

Starring: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, Betty Aberlin, McColm Cephas Jr.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language

Run Time: 94 min

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