A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
There is a moment in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood when journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) tells Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) that the gash on his face came from a fight with his father (Chris Cooper). Rogers' reaction—horror at the idea of parent and child physically battling it out, mixed with radiant compassion for Vogel—is one of the many things this imperfect but intensely moving film gets right. Inspired by Tom Junod's 1998 profile of Rogers in Esquire, Beautiful Day is told through the wounded eyes of Vogel, a Junod approximation whose assignment to interview Rogers leads to a transformational reckoning with childhood traumas. In the 2018 documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Rogers was depicted not as a saint but as a mortal man whose dedication to building a kinder world demanded both niceness and grit. Beautiful Day is a simpler portrait, but it gives us the gift of Hanks and Rhys. The film flourishes whenever they chat face to face, especially in a scene where Vogel tries to goad Rogers into self-pity and discovers that the hidden bitterness he's searching for simply doesn't exist. Rogers' goodness was gloriously real, and Beautiful Day is a poignant reminder to many of us who grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood that we are still his children, forever changed by the light of his generosity. PG. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Dine-In Progress Ridge 13, Vancouver Mall 23, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Cornelius, Eastport, Bridgeport, Cascade, Cinema 99, City Center, Division, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower, Lloyd, Sherwood, Tigard, Studio One.
Written and directed by actor Elizabeth Banks, who also appears as Bosley, this reboot of the late-'70s television series, which was already made into a movie in 2000 followed by a sequel three years later and revived as a short-lived TV series in 2011, is plainly, wholly unnecessary. Charlie's Angels' central conceit of beautiful women using their looks to investigate crimes for a wealthy mystery man is totally outdated, and almost nothing is done to update it here. Key word: almost. One of the new Angel recruits is Elena (Naomi Scott), a scientist who blows the whistle on a dangerous technology that could too easily be hacked and used as a deadly weapon. Enter Angels Jane (Ella Balinska), a hardened former MI6 agent, and Sabina (Kristen Stewart), a playful rebel who rejects her heiress upbringing—Sabina's soft-butch style is easily the best part of the movie. So, you have the standard trinity of the smart one, the tough one and the funny one. There are attempts to subvert the stereotypes, such as a love interest for the hardhearted Jane, but the characters ultimately fall flat. So does the storyline, which plays into every tired spy-movie trope, like the new recruit awed by a closet full of designer clothes and gadgets. On the other hand, Banks' succeeds at least in creating a Charlie's Angels free from the male gaze that dominated previous versions. PG-13. MIA VICINO. Dine-In Progress Ridge 13, Mill Plain 8, Vancouver Mall 23, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Cornelius, Eastport, Oak Grove, Bridgeport, Cascade, Cinema 99, City Center, Division, Evergreen Parkway, Lloyd, Pioneer Place, Sherwood, Tigard, Vancouver Plaza, Scappoose, Studio One.
Time is everything in The Irishman. Not only does it run 3½ hours, but the story, which spans five decades from the 1950s to 2003, is about years slipping away. In Martin Scorsese's version of 8½, the elegant, elegiac allegory about a film director putting work before family, the Irishman in the title is Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), whom we first meet in a nursing home reminiscing about his criminal life. He takes the audience back to the days when he served as essentially a soldier for the mob, working primarily for Philadelphia boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci, who came out of retirement to play the role). Eventually, Frank is introduced to Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino), becoming his right-hand man and buddy, though he admits in his old age he may have been connected to the former Teamster president's 1975 disappearance (and presumed death). Scorsese's latest Mafia piece is perfect. It encapsulates everything that made his previous work so crowd pleasing. Pacino, Pesci and De Niro are as good as ever. The camera floats through courtrooms and low-key bars, paying homage to the director's 1990 masterpiece, Goodfellas. And yes, Scorsese can still make dialogue about stupid things like hot dogs riveting. What's new here is the haunting tone—the way Frank's family shuts the door on him when he retires for putting work before relationships. It's a shift in mood that invites the audience to reflect with Frank on a legacy of violence, missed opportunities and, ultimately, the passing of time. R. ASHER LUBERTO. Hollywood.
There's no way writer-director Scott Z. Burns could have predicted how relevant congressional investigations would be leading up to his film's release, but The Report arrives with an almost cautionary resonance. Less concerned with the heroism of Senate torture report author Daniel Jones (Adam Driver), this journalistic-style depiction focuses on political players obstructing justice, even though at times their intentions are seemingly good. After all, the investigation into the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques" took so long to reach the public (2007-2014) The Report actually contains a scene of Jones railing against the inaccuracies of 2012's Zero Dark Thirty. With a deep and polished cast of Driver, Annette Bening (as Sen. Dianne Feinstein), Jon Hamm and 20 more recognizable character actors, The Report invests solely in the drama of information delivery. That singular focus on work is a double-edged sword. Without the movie artifice to create characters amid the redacted memos and closed-door hearings, The Report holds the audience at a distance. Of course, distance is also a primary value. History takes on new shapes from new vantages: We review a decade in which technology, warfare and the presidency seemed to change forever, so why, from Daniel Jones' basement desk in the belly of the beast, does it all look so similar? R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.