Hidden Figures
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Hidden Figures

Film Review by Francisco Olivera

12
Hidden Figures
www.impawards.com

"Hidden Figures" (2016) February 13, 2017

Directed by Theodore Melfi

3/12 stars (out of 4)

There is a scene near the beginning of Hidden Figures, where mathematician Katherine Johnson is walking with a military officer by the name of Jim Johnson she just met at a barbeque gathering. As they walk, Jim asks Katherine something that has to do with her current job at NASA, “They let women handle that kind of stuff?”. Without breaking a sweat, Katherine calmly replies, “There are twenty, bright, highly capable Negro women in the west computing group, and we're proud to be doing our part for the country. So yes, they let women do some things at NASA, Mr. Johnson. And it's not because we wear skirts. It's because we wear glasses. Have a good day.” Smooth move, Jim.

Hidden Figures, a great and inspiring biographical film, follows the life of three African American women working at the NASA site in Hampton, Virginia and their struggles to do good in a predominantly white environment. These are mathematician Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson, excellent), supervisor and mathematician Dorothy Vaughan (an outstanding and priceless Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (the talented and beautiful Janelle Monáe from last year’s Moonlight). The time is 1961 in the South, so of course, our three women were not greeted with the red carpet. Even the first scene, in which the three ladies are on their way to work when their car breaks down, has them being heckled by a nosy officer. How they end up being escorted by the same cop (I’ll never tell) gives us our first glimpse of these brave women. They refuse to be belittled for no reason, and it wouldn’t be the stop in their path to succeeding at NASA.

Each of the three lead actresses have equal moments to shine, especially the underrated Octavia Spencer (nominated for her role in the Best Supporting Actress category) as a woman working her way to a better position she rightfully deserves from all the grueling work she does on a regular basis. Their performances are key elements in the film because each has a different barrier in their same working environment, but the three carry that same beating heart with toughness to rise above those bringing them down. Henson (from 2005’s Hustle & Flow and the hit series Empire) is mesmerizing and heartbreaking as the brilliant mathematician who solved the calculations in the U.S. mission to allow the first person orbit the Earth. The film also stars an array of supporting roles, including a very good Kevin Costner as the leader of the Space Task Program division, Kirsten Dunst as a white supervisor, and Jim Parsons (nailing the racist attitude of the South with sleaze) as a worker at the Space Task Group.

The film is not so reliable on unearthing the darkness of racism in contrast to films such as Spike Lee’s magnum opus Do the Right Thing or Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning. However, it is clearly evident as we see whites giving the three black women stares of disgust and awkward silences, all lined with racial tension. In other words, seedy actions are portrayed by white NASA employees in contrast to depicting stronger acts of brutality and violence or uttering the N-word at them.

Hidden Figures is a celebration for the life of the African American woman. Not many films deserve the honor of being labeled as inspirational, but these incredible women proudly represent inspiration that fuels our desires to succeed and strive within our own life. Regardless of racial obstacles and unpleasant individuals, these three brilliant NASA employees are barrier-breaking role models for everyone to follow into the path towards unity and cultural fruition.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

#OptOutside This Black Friday

I am opting to go outside this Black Friday, and I hope you do so as well.

561
Ross Woodhall

The day after Thanksgiving has always been regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas season. While not a federal holiday, many people take off work, spend time at home with their families, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. This Friday off turned into a prime opportunity to begin the never-ending chore of Christmas shopping. Soon it became one of the busiest shopping days a year, which companies capitalized on by bringing the best deals of the year to this day we know as Black Friday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

Cereal never seemed more appealing than at 10 pm.

3139
7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

There is almost nothing more annoying in the world than waking up to the sound of an alarm. From the moment you get up until the time you get to bed, you are bombarded with responsibilities. You have to go to work and school, run errands, and do favors. But if you're a night owl then you have an advantage of getting a few more extra hours in the day. Here are seven perks to being a night owl:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

17 tasty foods to cook in an air fryer

Air fryers are becoming a staple in all health conscious households because of its delicious, yet grease free way of cooking your favorite dishes! We all love a good fried chicken dish, but this is a great alternative if you are eating mindfully.

There are plenty of places that sell air fryers such as Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon.

3395
Air Fryed Avocado Fries
Photo by: Tatum Oblonsky

Keep Reading... Show less
Wallpapers Pro

The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Avoid Cooking Up A Catastrophe

Treat food wrong and it's game over, here are some tips on how to evade the mistakes.

4818
seriousseats

Cooking can be quite a challenge if you don't know what you're doing. It's all about technique. Treat food wrong and it's game over. Here are some tips on how to evade cooking mistakes:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments