Hidden Figures (2016)
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali
Directed by: Theodore Melfi
Written by: Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi
Rating: PG Running Time: 2 hr. 7 min
Well what can you say? Hidden Figures (clever title, love it) is exactly what it’s supposed to be. Moving, thought-provoking, and once again reminds us that chauvinistic pigs and racists need to be challenged whenever they crawl out from the dark and fearful places they like to live.
That being said, however, I did find it interesting (the movie never really explores it nor needs to) that gender and racial barriers were challenged at NASA, only when xenophobic feelings towards Russia were at an all-time high. Progress is progress I guess. Even if it means trading phobia for phobia. Humans are weird.
Hidden Figures is also entertaining and successfully navigates that line between poignant drama and cheesy histrionics. Buoyed by strong performances from the entire cast, and dependable writing and directing by, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi. This film hits all the marks it should, and spends the appropriate amount of time with each of the main characters to properly tell their story.
This film somehow feels especially timely given recent political changes in the US. And the ugliness that it has inspired in people who would love to see a return to ‘colored’ signposts over toilets and drinking fountains.
This is a film the entire family should enjoy, whatever your background. It reminds us that heroes come in many shapes, races, colors, and genders.
There had to come a moment when Taraji P. Henson’s character, the gifted and honored Katherine G. Johnson, would stand up and voice her grievances. She does after all, have to run over a mile just to find a toilet she can use. When that moment comes, Taraji P. Henson nails it.