HIDDEN FIGURES (2016) Review

HIDDEN FIGURES movie review

Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and more in a film directed by Theodore Melfi (Winding Roads, Going In Style, St. Vincent).

"In the heat of the space race against Russia to put a man in space. We learn that NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history.

Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow their stories as they quickly rose the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return.

Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines while their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cementing them in the history books as true American heroes."


Kevin Costner, Taraji P. Henson, and Jim Parsons in Hidden Figures

The film starts out showing us one young black girl getting the opportunity to go to school to hone her skills in mathematics. We jump forward to 1961 and watching three women in their jobs at NASA.

It's amazing to watch what our primary characters, Katherine (Henson), Dorothy (Spencer) and Mary (Monae) have to deal with.

It's a maddening, frustrating and once again, eye-opening experience to see how our society treated women and women of color. It is downright shameful how close-minded we were then. The ugly examples included the different sections in the library, different bathrooms, different coffee machines, and it just goes on from there.

What the hell are people afraid of then? OMG.

The first act sets the tone and the uphill battle our heroes face.

As we get into the the second act, we watch their minor victories within their own realm of life, while we are shown some major losses that take place in society.

But it's the tiny victories that in the long run, will matter, because with enough tiny victories, there comes a tide, a momentum.

But we also learn that these tiny victories are brought about by the tenacity of our characters, the heroes of this film. Had they just accepted things as they were and did nothing more than complain, nothing would have been achieved. But instead, they stood up for themselves. They applied themselves harder to the problems than their peers, because they refused to accept that "That's just how things are."


Octavia Spencer and Crystal Lee Brown in Hidden Figures

This film follows the personal and professional lives of our heroes, their ups and downs, and the portrayal of their lives feels spot on with nothing left out or embellished beyond belief to make a point.

This is a wonderfully inspiring film, watching each small victory for our heroes, for our society as these women worked their way literally out of the basements they were relegated to, to the front offices where they belong.

Everyone pulled off their roles wonderfully.

Costner was perfect in the role of the NASA boss in charge of the team charged with getting John Glen into orbit. He was perfect in how he addressed the idiocies of people.

It was nice to see Jim Parsons nail a serious role as a peer of Katherine G. Johnson, as he begrudgingly came to believing how much she could contribute to the process.

The true star was Taraji P. Henson. She brought a mystical light to the role of Katherine. One of pure emotional power, tempered by emotional maturity and conviction.

This is one of those films that hits the mark on so many levels, from the vitory of women hurdling the gender barrier to African-American people showing these other morons they had nothing to be afraid of.

Hidden Figures is worth whatever you spend on it, whether it be via your HBO subscription or you decided to snag it on Amazon

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{ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK8xHq6dfAo }

Check out this NASA piece on Katherine Johnson.
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