Director: Theodore Melfi
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons
Age Restriction: 7–9PG P
Runtime: 2hrs 7min
Release date: 24 February 2017
Based on the book of the same name, which in turn is based on true-life events, Hidden Figures takes place in 1960's America – a time where racial segregation was still ongoing.
The true-life drama follows Katherine Goble Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) – three African American women who worked for NASA, and played an integral role in astronaut John Glenn being the first American to orbit the Earth.
The three women faced many obstacles during this period, including sexist and racial discrimination.
Mary for instance is a mathematician who aspires to be an engineer. However, she first needs to take certain classes which only occur at an all-white school. She then takes this matter to the court in an attempt to get admission into the school.
Dorothy is also a mathematician who does supervising work, but is not acknowledged for it as NASA refuses to pay and promote her for the above-mentioned position.
Katherine is assigned to the male-dominated Space Task Group, where it's her job to check the math calculations of the engineers who treat her scornfully.
Classics come but once in blue moon, and they are usually unexpected. After scouring through the trailers and marketing materials; it was clearly evident that Hidden Figures had all the markings of a great film. However; no one expected it to completely blow expectations out of the water, and achieve that rare classic status.
Director Theodore Melfi crafts a classic masterpiece that absolutely deserves a Best Picture Oscar. The film's biggest highlight is how it was able to balance all its elements equally.
The story is thoroughly absorbing; the characters are excellently developed and will have audiences rooting for them; while the film is also a smart, emotional crowd-pleaser that will appeal to general moviegoers as well.
Hidden Figures is not only about the struggles that these three women face in the workplace; it also focuses on their personal lives, as well as NASA trying to send a human into space while struggling to compete with Russia.
Melfi ensures that Hidden Figures tugs at your heartstrings as the film isn't afraid to be honest and uplifting; while the actors do an impressive job in showing audiences what their respective characters are going through.
Monáe– who gets the best lines – steals the show as the sassy Mary, and ultimately proves why her Oscar snub is an outrage. Other acting standouts include Henson, Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner.
The costume design and cinematography are top-notch, along with an excellent direction from Melfi who should've at least nabbed a Best Director nod.
Verdict: Thoroughly engaging, balanced, emotional, uplifting and well-acted; Hidden Figures is a masterfully crafted classic that comes but once in a blue moon.