Hidden Figures Review
Space? Yes. History? Yes. Females in science? Yes. Breaking stereotypes? Yes. These are all the incredible things that are entailed in the film Hidden Figures. The film stars Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan and Taraji P. Henson as Katherine G. Johnson. These women work at NASA as computers, helping the space program to get a man in space. They all face enormous obstacles being African American and female during the 60s trying to bridge the gap between what they are more than capable of doing and what they are allowed to do.
Katherine G. Johnson is a widow with three children who works very closely with the Space Task Force trying to figure out the mathematics and calculations to get a man in space. She even writes and discovers the calculations herself, despite a push back from her male colleagues, particularly Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons). Despite her busy life with work and children, she manages to meet a man named Colonel Jim Johnson (Mahershala Ali) and they date. Dorothy Vaughan, the oldest of the three women, works as the supervisor of the computers without the recognition, title or pay that the job entails. Once IBM installs the new computer in NASA, she takes it upon herself to learn the system, teach the other colored computers how to work it and in turn, make themselves invaluable. Mary Jackson is the most vivacious of the three women, and she works in close collaboration with the engineering department. One of her male coworkers inspires her to try to go for an engineering degree. Despite all the obstacles that these women face, they stayed diligent and strong and are a huge inspiration to women everywhere.
Hidden Figures tells their story with craft and finesse. They weave the story of three truly inspirational women into a just over a 2-hour film. The performances by Octavia, Janelle, and Taraji are just perfect. They play the women so well and give them so much depth. The women are not only scientists but friends, mothers, wives, etc. They do them real justice. As for the supporting cast, Mahershala Ali is great as Jim Johnson. It was great to see him back on screen. Jim Parsons as Paul Stafford was wonderful and deeper than his usual Big Bang Theory character. Kevin Costner gave a wonderful performance as Dorothy’s supervisor, Al Harrison.
The cinematography and music work so well together in this film. The space exploration scenes were beautifully shot and executed. The music was perfect and added another level and emotional resonance to the film. The costume design and colors put you back in the 60s.
The story of these women is truly inspirational. Not only is Hidden Figures an incredible film, but it is also a compelling film. It tells the story of three women, three African American women and their rise to the top of their fields, despite many obstacles. It is about women in science, which is a crucial thing to see. Women need to be seen in the sciences to inspire generations of women after them. Hidden Figures is arguably one of the most important films of 2017.
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