The true story of three African-American women whose
tireless efforts helped NASA send a man into space in 1962.
Hidden Figures (2016)
Directed by Theodore Melfi
Written by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe,
Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst, Mahershala Ali,
Aldis Hodge, Glen Powell
Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress
(Octavia Spencer), Best Adapted Screenplay
Racism has been an unwelcome theme of American society ever since its conception, and with every major technological or societal achievement this nation has, there's often somebody who was never given the credit they deserved for their part in it simply because they aren't a white man. It's shameful that until the release of this movie, most people (including myself) had no idea who these women were, let alone their impact on the U.S. space program. Hidden Figures is an important film that tells the untold story of three African-American women who almost single-handedly turned NASA from a theoretical dream to a hopeful reality.
Empire star Taraji P. Henson stars as mathematical genius Katherine Johnson, arguably one of the most intelligent women of the 20th century. Despite her obvious talent with numbers, she was constantly cast aside because of the color of her skin and her gender. Nobody at NASA believed that a black women could do theoretical math better than a white man. She proved them wrong by constantly, well, proving them wrong. Henson delivers a strong performance that channels a great deal of passion. Octavia Spencer plays her friend Dorothy Vaughan, a computer whiz who reconfigured the IBM computer that launched the first manned space missions. She takes a much more sarcastic road with her character, refusing to step aside and demanding her rightful position in the operation. Thanks to them, this film is much more uplifting and hopeful than what it could've been.
With a supporting cast featuring a humble Kevin Costner, an insufferable Jim Parsons, and a casually racist Kirsten Dunst, Hidden Figures is the true, undoctored story of the people who put some of the first American astronauts in orbit and eventually helped put a man on the moon. This is a film that should be shown in classrooms across the country to address the centuries of mistreatment of our fellow men and women. The inspiring story of these women gives hope to all who dare to dream of being part of something incredible, and it tells those dreamers that everybody is important not just for what they do, but for who they are.