Review: Hidden Figures

Can a lady get some credit around here?

The United States is in a race against Russian to put a man on the moon. NASA hires a handful of African American women but no matter how hard they work, they're still stuck in the basement. Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) is a math genius who is given an assignment to work under Al Harrison. (Kevin Costner)  She's the smartest person in the room, but her white male colleagues give her zero credit and welcome her with a "colored coffee pot" instead when she dares use theirs. The man she works with the most, Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons) frequently treats her like a secretary instead of an equal. Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) works in engineering, but she doesn't get the title of an engineer because the courses she needs are only offered at an all white school. Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) does all the work of a supervisor without the title or the pay. We watch these extraordinary women defy the odds and triumph in a world that's stacked against them.

Hidden Figures is an appropriate title. It's embarrassing to say that I had never heard of their stories before seeing a preview for this film. This is yet another reason why I love movies. They shine light on important things that I've missed.

I found myself getting so irritated at everyone in this film that wasn't Doorthy, Mary, or Katherine. Every time a door is slammed in their face, or they were treated with the bare minimum of respect, or when they have to run half a mile to use "their" bathroom, my heart ached. Even knowing I would get that eventual happy ending watching the behavior of some of the characters in this film was just gross. Seriously, every time Jim Parson's character opened his mouth...


Taraji is a breathtaking lead. I wish more people were talking about her in the best actress race. Monae and Spencer also give excellent performances. Kevin Costner was actually tolerable and it's nice to see Parsons play someone very different from Sheldon Cooper. Mahershala Ali is also a welcomed presence in a small role. 

It's a very formulaic film, but backed with an amazing ensemble and a great message, Hidden Figures rises above the normal biopic standards. I wanted to cry tears of joy when it was over just seeing what these women accomplished. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "God forbid anyone get in the way of Mary Jackson's dreams, myself included." - Levi Jackson (Aldis Hodge)

16 comments:

  1. yes, such a triumphant film! and Taraji delivers her career best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She does! She deserves a Best Actress nom.

      Delete
  2. Oh I was in the middle of writing my review of this right now. LOVE this movie, glad I waited to do my top 10 list as it definitely merits a spot in there. A big A in my book too!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the fact that it's getting some attention and give audiences something positive to watch. Plus, if anyone wants me to slap the shit out of Sheldon. I'll be happy to. In fact, I'll just beat the shit out of everyone in that show. What is so special about The Big Bang Theory? I don't get it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol The Big Bang Theory stopped being good the moment they added Amy to their show.

      Delete
  4. Lovely review! This has been on my to-see list for so long, I can't believe it's finally in theaters. Since Octavia's earned nominations before the Oscars, maybe more will squeeze in and Taraji might make it for Best Actress. *crossing fingers* :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's still funny to me that Octavia is getting all the nominations when she has the least amount to work with.

      Delete
  5. Only skimmed it because I plan on seeing this real soon. Glad to hear it's a good movie.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm with you - I had no idea about the events that took place. Even worse, I had no idea this movie existed until the Hidden Fences moment last week! Can't wait to see it now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh God what a horrible intro lol. I suppose that's the best thing that could come from Hidden Fences outside of the lols, a spotlight on the film.

      Delete
  7. It's such a charming movie. I actually thought Parsons was more against the type in Normal Heart - after all sheldon is kinda mean and it's not like his character here was Hilly from The Help levels of awful, he was just rude. I really liked how the things between them were left, the way she handed him the paper and he simply got her coffee. It was quite subtle for a movie that was following the formula, but hey if that formula is something entertaining and moving like it was I take it any day over something unique like you know what which I also saw yesterday :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He still deserved a kick in the balls. Especially for the multiple times he said computers don't author papers lol.

      Delete
  8. You are right about not knowing parts of history until it is showcased in the movies. You then want to read up more. I had no idea about the accomplishments of these brave African American women who deserved so much more respect than what they got. They were not only dealing with the race issue but the woman issue. I really want to see this film

    ReplyDelete

If you're reading this sentence you should probably leave a comment.