Film Review: Hidden Figures
by Emery W.
I don't know where to begin when reviewing a movie as monumental as Hidden Figures. This film is so inspiring and educational. It's quite possibly the best film based on a true story I've seen. Honestly, it's probably because the story centers around people like me; African-American women.
Long story short, Hidden Figures tells the story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson (portrayed by Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae respectively) as three women who work for NASA as human computers during the '60's when America first put man in space.
Though their stories intertwine as a strong female friendship, each of these incredible women have their own personal story to tell of how they changed the face of math and science forever.
Katherine Johnson, a math prodigy, is brought from the Black wing of the space program to create and solve equations that inevitably put the first man in orbit. Tackling a mountain of racial and gender barriers, Johnson eventually does the impossible, and becomes more than a computer. She becomes an integral part of the team. Henson does a stupendous job of portraying the journey of a woman who starts in the background of a room to the forefront of an entire operation. Her bathroom scene ( I won't go into details) brought me to tears, and made the whole theater erupt in applause. If you thought Taraji P. Henson is a Cookie Lyon typecast actress, watch this film, and be immediately proved wrong.
Dorothy Vaughan is the woman who *spoiler alert* eventually becomes the first African-American supervisor for NASA. So not only is she a ground-breaker for women, but people of color as well. Octavia Spencer has always been a Goddess on-screen in my opinion, and this role is another addition to a list of roles that has made me fall in love with her.
The one thing about the film I would tweak is the story behind Mary Jackson. While Janelle Monae undoubtedly did an exceptional job with the role, I wish I'd been shown more of Jackson's story. It's an inspirational look into how one of the most brilliant minds in the world was silenced because of the color of her skin. In fact, the initial problem with the space orbit may not have happened if this woman was given a fair chance to get her degree. I just wish the film showed more of her work with N ASA. However, what did feature Jackson was extraordinary.
I give this film a solid 10/10. I'll buy it, watch it, and share it with future generations. I'm so thankful that this film was made because it's a part of Black history that wasn't featured in my books.