Film Review - Hidden Figures
Over the weekend, we finally had the opportunity to see Hidden Figures. A best picture nominee and the winner of the SAG’s best ensemble in a film category, it has been on our radar for a while. After seeing it, though, I can say with confidence that they deserve every win and nomination.
While the film focuses primarily on the character of Katherine Goble Johnson, portrayed by Taraja P. Henson, the movie follows not only her but two of her friends and coworkers. These three women are a part of the colored computing team at NASA in 1961. They worked math problems all day, which is something I don’t envy, but each of them has personal aspirations. Katherine is pulled to work with the Space Task Force and tasked to check calculations as they attempt to send a man into space. Mary Johnson, portrayed by Janelle Monae, dreams of being an engineer, which was unheard of for any woman, much less an African American woman in the 1960’s. Dorothy Vaughan, portrayed by Octavia Spencer, desires to be a supervisor within the program. She is respected as one among her peers but is continuously denied the pay and title. The relationships between these three ladies brings a lot of heart to the film, and each of them shine as each tackle their own personal hurdles as women of color.
However, the performances of the supporting ensemble cannot be overlooked. Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Kirsten Dunst, and Glenn Powell help show the differing attitudes within society at that time, and each plays their part incredibly well. Ultimately, this film tells the story of three women who didn’t give up despite prejudice and overwhelming odds stacked against them. I found myself tearing up on more than one occasion as I watched. Until this movie was released, I had never heard of these women, but I am certainly glad that they are no longer hidden figures in history. Thank you, Theodore Melfi, for making their stories known.