FILM REVIEW | Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures (2017) was one of the most Oscar-worthy films I saw this past year. The film (modified blurb begins) tells the story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), brilliant African-American women working at NASA who served as some of the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, which was a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and racial lines to inspire generations to dream big (modified blurb ends).
Hidden Figures is littered with engaging performances from start to finish with a strong cast. Henson, Spencer, and Monáe (who is also stunningly beautiful) are standouts as the compelling leads of this story about smart black women working at NASA during the early years of America’s space program, centered around the Mercury program, and especially the flight of John Glenn’s Friendship 7. Kevin Costner is also good as a composite character but then, nobody is better at playing Kevin Costner than Kevin Costner. In terms of films about the American space program, Hidden Figures is the equal of Apollo 13 (1995), which did not receive nearly enough awards at the time IMO. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the book upon which this film is based. I fully expect Hollywood to overlook Hidden Figures when it comes to handing out Oscars, which tells you everything you need to know about Hollywood. FYI… Yes, true to form, Taraji P. Henson was not even nominated for Best Actress even though she was WAY more deserving of actually winning the Academy Award than the eventual winner but admittedly-delightful Emma Stone. Mark’s Grade: A
Taraji P Henson, race, Mercury, Oscar, Space Race, Hollywood, space program. mathematics, Hidden Figures, engineering, Octavia Spencer, Apollo, NASA, Kevin Costner, space program, John Glenn, Friendship 7, gender