Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019) was a cause for nostalgic audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival to exit the theater with tears in their eyes and stories about Mister Rogers on their lips, according to The Daily Beast. Reviewer Richard Porton reports that Heller uses a pessimistic journalist named Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), a fictionalized representation for the 1998 Fred Rogers profiler Tom Junod of Esquire, to balance the Rogers biopic with more nuance. Porton dismisses this attempt, writing that the movie still canonizes Rogers’s character, but praises Tom Hanks’s performance as the television host.
Dakota Fanning speaks out on backlash against new role as Ethiopian Muslim
Dakota Fanning took to Instagram Wednesday to respond to the controversy surrounding her part as a Muslim woman in Ethiopia in Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s Sweetness in the Belly (2019), according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The twenty-five-year-old actress says her character is British, abandoned by her parents in Africa at seven years old and raised Muslim; the film, based on a book by Camilla Gibb, will debut at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival later this month. Twitter’s reaction to the casting is still divided, with some defending the faithfulness to the source material and others criticizing the whiteness of the protagonist.