|“||Bill: I've read your work, you don't really care for humanity do you?
Lloyd: I'm just doing my job.
|~ Bill comprehending Lloyd Vogel's misanthropic nature.|
|“||You hired me as an investigative journalist. I don't do puff pieces.||„|
|~ Lloyd Vogel to his editor Ellen|
Lloyd Vogel (based loosely on the real life journalist Tom Junod) is the anti-heroic protagonist of the 2019 drama film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. An embittered, self-absorbed, antisocial Esquire journalist who holds a grudge towards his philanderous father Jerry for abandoning his family, Lloyd is assigned to profile children's television host Fred Rogers for a magazine issue about heroes.
Lloyd initially seeks to dig up dirt about Fred Rogers and destroy his reputation as he has done with his other interviewees, but instead learns about kindness and has a change of heart after Rogers learns of Lloyd's strained relationship with and anger towards his father, and compels him to confront his inner anger. Rogers' influence on Lloyd's life inspires him to forgive his father, become a more present father and husband in his family, and see the world in a kinder lens.
In the film
|“||So why do we write for magazines for a living? Honestly, because doing anything else doesn’t seem quite like living at all. Sometimes, just sometimes, we get to change a broken world with our words.||„|
|~ Lloyd Vogel|
Lloyd first appears in the film during a national magazine awards ceremony, in which he has earned an award for his writing. He speaks of journalism as the only way to live life, as he believes it allows anyone who pursues it to expose a flair of truth that nobody else gets to uncover.
|“||JERRY: Your mom and I hardly knew each other when she got pregnant. We were babies.
LLOYD: Don't talk about her.
|~ Jerry and Lloyd Vogel.|
Lloyd, his wife Andrea, and his newborn son Gavin attend his sister Lorraine's third wedding, although he is hesitant because his father Jerry—with whom he holds a grudge—is also attending.
At the wedding reception, Jerry attempts to reconnect with Lloyd, who becomes annoyed at Jerry calling Andrea a "doll" and poking fun at Gavin. Jerry jokes about his ex-wife and Lloyd's mother Lila, enraging Lloyd into punching him in the face and starting a chaotic fistfight. Another patron at the wedding breaks Lloyd's nose and causes it to bleed, and Lloyd, Andrea, and Gavin leave the reception. Andrea accuses Lloyd of losing control, but Lloyd refuses to accept responsibility for assaulting Jerry.
Writing about heroes
|“||ELLEN: Look, I think this could help you, Lloyd. Just, start to change your image.
LLOYD: I don't need to change my image.
ELLEN: He was the only person on our list willing to be interviewed by you, Lloyd.
|~ Lloyd Vogel and his editor Ellen.|
The next morning, Lloyd's editor Ellen assigns him to profile Fred Rogers for a 400-word article about heroes. Lloyd objects, claiming that Ellen hired him as an "investigative journalist" who does not write "puff pieces", but Ellen counters him by saying that she hired him to do whatever she wants, sending him away until he has a draft ready for her.
While Andrea has invited several of her friends over that afternoon, Lloyd leaves the apartment to focus on his journalism. He begrudgingly makes a phone call to Rogers, who is happy to introduce himself and his work; Rogers states to Lloyd that he wants to "look through the camera into the eyes of a single child" as the host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and invites him to his studio for an in-person interview.
Meeting Mister Rogers
Lloyd travels to the WQED studio in Pittsburgh the next day; there, he and Bill Isler walk into the set of Rogers' show, and Rogers greets him before asking about his nose injury. Lloyd claims that he received it after a "play at the plate". During Rogers' lunch break, Lloyd asks him about heroism and whether Rogers considers himself or "Mister Rogers" a hero; Rogers dismisses his fame and becomes more interested in Lloyd's nose, and Lloyd admits to starting a fistfight with Jerry. But before Lloyd can ask another question, an associate calls Rogers back on set. Lloyd then watches Rogers film a sequence in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe as the puppet character Daniel Striped Tiger, becoming suspicious of Rogers' intentions as he and Betty Aberlin sing a song about anger management.
Opening up about childhood
Lloyd talks about his childhood and how his father cheated on his dying mother. There are also some flashbacks of his last few moments being able to talk to his mother through a nightmare-like memory of some type communicating to his mother. This is the type of stuff that he would try to open up to with his wife, alongside eventually with Mr. Rogers.
Confronting Jerry in his home
Lloyd eventually sees his father at his house. Vogel questions out of shock the more direct return of his father. Jerry insists that he wants to be able to talk to Vogel and try to make things right. However, Vogel angrily insists that Jerry leaves, all leading to Jerry collapsing suffering through a type of heart attack, likely from all of the stress that he took in from Lloyd.
Lloyd's nightmare in Pittsburgh
Lloyd eventually goes into Pittsburgh to talk to Mr. Rogers. He is eventually assigned to Mr. Rogers' show. He eventually sees things throughout the time. Such has him being smaller and being into Mr. Rogers' house table, the appearance of his wife, and so on so forth. All of this overwhelms Llloyd into fainting and collapsing down. There is then a flashback of Lloyd Vogel as a similar age as of now looking back at the time with his mother, eventually when her mother would pass away.
Taking a minute
After the nightmare, Lloyd eventually wakes up to some piano music, in a completely different house, eventually being revealed to be Mr. and Mrs. Rogers' house. Fred Rogers insists on Lloyd going out for some coffee with him, to which Vogel insists not to, but went with the idea. At the Coffeeshop the two talk. Vogel talks about how Mr. Rogers cares about broken people like him, which eventually leads to Mr. Rogers insisting for Vogel to sit down and take a minute to recall some of those that had been there for Vogel and anyone else. Which leads to the rest of those in the Coffeeshop to stay quiet for a whole minute. This is a reference to a similar saying being told at an awards concert.
Forgiveness and family
Eventually, Lloyd Vogel would be able to get to forgive his father back then for what he has been holding a grudge about since. Vogel was able to try to forgive which was what Mr. Rogers insisted on Lloyd when trying to get to know him more.
- Lloyd Vogel has been heavily based upon Tom Junod with both being journalists in the scenario, except most of the drama that happened throughout the story didn't happen in real life to give more of the dramatic storyline.
- Mr. Rogers telling Lloyd Vogel to take a quiet minute to think about those who have been around him is parallel with being said on a real-life broadcast television awards concert in real life.