Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in TriStar Pictures' A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Photo by Lacey Terrell via Sony Pictures.

Pittsburghers still have to wait until November 22 to see the Mr. Rogers movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” But judging by the positive response to the movie at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend, the fictionalized telling of Fred Rogers interaction with writer Tom Junod will be worth the wait.

Tom Hanks’ performance as Pittsburgh’s beloved Fred Rogers earned praise from USA Today when it screened at the festival.

“Hanks feels so right in the role from the beginning. There’s a perfect imperfectness that matches the real Rogers, whether you watched him growing up or were introduced through last year’s superb documentary ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,’” Brian Truitt writes.

“As for the look and feel, Hanks adds some eyebrows and slows down his speaking to portray a man seemingly always calm. His Rogers will emit the occasional ‘Oh, my’ if there’s something particularly revelatory in his conversations with Lloyd, who doesn’t quite believe at first that this TV host is as good a man as he appears to be,” he says. “Mostly Hanks is having the best time ever, crashing down on piano keys, singing as Daniel Tiger or throwing out a humble Rogers-ism: ‘Fame is a four-letter word like tape or zoom or face. What matters is what you do with it.’”

Sounds promising.

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Melissa Rayworth

Kidsburgh Editor Melissa Rayworth specializes in stories about culture, gender, design and parenting. She has written for a variety of outlets in the U.S. and Asia, and is a frequent contributor to The...