It’s hard for me to hide my excitement after seeing a spectacular movie like Hidden Figures. Films like this give people hope, educate and surprise them, and allow them to step back and appreciate the lives of people like Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson.
They’re important, because they’re rare. In a cinematic world crowded with white male superheroes and so few females, it thrills me knowing that young girls, and anyone else for that matter, will see this movie and know that if they work hard enough, they can achieve great things.
But just as much as Hidden Figures is an important film, it’s also simply a well made, brilliantly cast and wonderfully written one. Director Theodore Melfi has made his mark, bringing audiences something with bite.
The cast benefits hugely from three strong leads in Taraji P. Henson (Johnson), Octavia Spencer (Vaughan) and Janelle Monáe (Jackson), who each bring their own unique flair, passion and talent to the film. Henson is marvellous to watch as Johnson, bringing us closer to the heart of her character’s struggle as she battles for recognition and respect. I think most people would agree that Henson shines in everything she’s in, but Hidden Figures is the next level for the actress.
Spencer and Monáe are equally as captivating in their respective roles, as their characters fight to reach new heights in their careers, and face the highest obstacles. Monáe, who has also recently been seen in the awards darling Moonlight, more than proves her abilities as an actress, stealing scenes from her co-stars on more than one occasion.
A fantastic score also moves the film along nicely (not that it needed any help thanks to a tight script), while real life footage from the era grounds the film in reality. Melfi and co-writer Allison Schroeder have a winner on their hands (the number of accolades the film has collected is proof enough), and for audiences who so rarely get to enjoy films like this, Hidden Figures is everything.
Image: 20th Century Fox