The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.
The movie follows the stories of Kathrine Goble a physicist and mathematician who made contributions to the United States’ aeronautics and space programs with the early application of digital electronic computers at NASA, Mary Jackson who took advanced engineering classes and in 1958 became NASA’s first black female engineer and Dorothy Vaughn a mathematician and human computer who worked for the NACA and NASA and in 1949 became the first African-American acting supervisor of the West Area Computers.
The movie combines excellent storytelling, made to grab and hold the viewer’s attention with an amazing cast that paid tribute to these historic figures. Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae worked together well to bring this shining trio convincingly to the big screen. Octavia Spencer in particular had the evenness and consistency that took her role above the others and with that earned her a nomination for best actress in a supporting role in the 2017 Academy Awards. Kevin Costner was wonderful as the team leader even though I had the feeling that his character was mostly designed to pander specifically to white audiances. Jim Parsons as the selfish second in charge seemed like he was just the perfect cast for that particular role and Kirsten Dunst as the wielder of small power HR director made the most of their opportunities.
Hidden Figures was definitely meant to be a feel-good movie. It tackles issues of racism and sexism head-on without having the gritty feel like 12 Years a Slave or The Birth of a Nation. It’s a film about overcoming those odds and difficulties in order to prove your self-worth.
Staring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
Director: Theodore Melfi
Writers: Allison Schroeder, Theodore Melfi
Genre: Biography, Drama, History