Title: Won’t You Be My Neighbor
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Morgan Neville
Starring: Fred Rogers, Joanne Rogers, Betty Aberlin
Runtime: 1 hr 34 mins
What It Is: For over 40 years Fred Rogers sparked the imaginations of children across America. In this documentary, we get insight into a man that brought smiles to millions of children over those 4 decades. With puppets, like that of his now-famous Daniel Tiger and raw feelings Mr. Rogers was crafted the neighborhood of all of our childhoods. In this documentary, we explore the Mr. Rogers origins in TV as well as his seminary aspiration with the Presbyterian church. From his fight to get on TV to his fight with the government to stay on it. Won’t you be OUR neighbor?
What We Think: This doc is a show stopper! One that won’t leave a dry eye or unfull heart in the entire cinema, including mine. It touched on something with me, a childlike wonder that Mr. Rogers always brings and has brought since I first discovered him at a very young age. There’s a lot here. Things that pull the veil from the Wizard of Pittsburgh, but unlike his counterpart in Oz what we find is exactly what we expect. A kind man who loved children, who cared for their minds and saw them as people. Whole people not just half humans. He never patronized them and thought their opinions valid. All of these perspectives are wonderfully collected as more than thoughts by Neville and his admiration for Fred Rogers is certainly palpable on screen.
Our Grade: A+, I think this is the first perfect we’ve issued all year! And it’s to a documentary of all things. This is one of 2018’s best films and right now, for me, the front-runner for the Best Documentary Oscar. The rest of the upcoming doc releases balls in your court to try and dethrone Mr. Rogers. I think it goes without saying much that I highly HIGHLY recommend this film! Seriously go see it…NOW!