Director: Theodore Melfi
Writer: Allison Schroeder, Theofore Melfi (Screenplay) Margot Lee Shetterly (Book)
Starring: Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali
Plot: Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Important and Enjoyable Drama
Story: Hidden Figures starts as we meet our three African-American women working for Nasa Katherine G Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monae), the three still must deal with racial hate but have learnt to overcome the hate. With Al Harrison (Costner) having to lead the team with engineer Paul Strafford (Parsons) to get the first American into space.
Katherine being a mathematical genius gets the chance to work under Al Harrison in a room full of higher class white people who all look down on her except Al, while Mary is being pushed by a Jewish Polish immigrant Karl Zielinski (Krupa) to try out for the engineering opportunity who knows how to overcome what can look impossible. Dorothy is just trying to help motivate and get the supervisor role looking after the rest of the African American women working in Nasa known as ‘computers’. We get to see how these three women overcome the discrimination going through America to play key parts in America’s finest achievements.
Thoughts on Hidden Figures
Story – We all know the space race story but not many of us know the story behind the incredible achievement. This story shows the hard work and the discrimination these three women had to overcome to make one of America’s great achievements happen. This type of story annoys me because I can’t believe how naïve people were when it came to treating people differently because of their race or religion has held back humans from so many crowning achievements it could have accomplished. Seeing how everything unfold is charming as it is serious subject matter because you want to support these ladies on their own ability to overcome the racial divides that were still going through America.
Characters/Performances – The characters are mostly based on real people with Katherine, Mary and Dorothy all show how ground breaking these women were for both race and women everywhere. Al Harrison shows us a man who knew of the racial divide but chose to ignore it while we have Paul Stafford being the stumbling block between the two as he doesn’t accept the inclusion of an African American woman in his field. When you look at the performances Henson, Spencer and Monae are all brilliant all giving performances that show all the skills these actresses have. Costner and Parsons are also great in the supporting roles with everyone else making this feel like the true story with none of the overacting.
Settings – The settings are all perfectly recreated for the time 1961 America including the old-fashioned computer usage, cars and use of the segregation between the races. We feel like we are fully in the time of the events in this story.
Final Thoughts – This is a must watch for all as we learn about the ground-breaking people in history that are often over looked.
Overall: Watch and learn just how important these women were to history.