‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ set to premiere at Toronto film festival | TribLIVE.com
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‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ set to premiere at Toronto film festival

Megan Guza
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Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Photo by: Lacey Terrell

The neighborhood will be Ontario for the world premiere of the Mister Rogers film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” this weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Tom Hanks plays children’s television icon Fred Rogers in the film, which was shot in and around Pittsburgh earlier this year and follows the story of Rogers’ friendship with “jaded journalist” Lloyd Vogel, based on Esquire magazine writer Tom Junod and played by actor Matthew Rhys.

The first screening is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the third day of the 10-day festival.

Rogers’ wife, Joanne, won’t be in Toronto for the premiere, but said she has fond memories of the city from when her late husband worked for the CBC Television show “The Children’s Corner.”

“I won’t be attending,” she said Thursday. “I think I’ll let Tom Hanks and the director of the film handle things there.”

Vanity Fair listed it among its 16 most anticipated films premiering in Toronto, with chief critic Richard Lawson answering his own question of whether North America is still on the Rogers wagon: “Well, the world’s only gotten worse since last summer, so my guess is people will still flock to the warm glow of Rogers’ cozy outlook on goodness and decency.”

Director Marielle Heller, whose 2018 film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” earned three Academy Award nominations, told Observer she had to work with Hanks to “tone down” his innate charisma.

“I think people assume because (Hanks) is so beloved that he must have just slipped into it easily and put on the cardigan and become Fred Rogers without much effort,” Heller said in the interview with Brandon Katz. “But the truth is, he really went somewhere very deep with it, deep with this role, and I think people are going to be really blown away by his performance. It’s pretty transformative.”

The film opens in theaters Nov. 22.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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