A majority of the time, films function simply as entertainment. However, there are times when you walk out of the cinema feeling like a different person, as though the movie has changed something inside you for the better. Hidden Figures is one of those films and it will blow you away.
It’s the incredible true story of mathematician Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), aspiring engineer Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), and unofficial supervisor Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer). These three outrageously smart women are hidden in the segregated department of NASA, working twice as hard as the other women – and three times as hard as the men – to prove their worth.
As Russia continues to triumph over the US in the space race, NASA becomes desperate to take control and plans to conduct an immediate response. In order to successfully send astronaut John Glenn into space, Johnson is moved into the Space Task Group, Jackson is encouraged to pursue an engineering degree, and Vaughn continues the battle to become supervisor. Through it all they face tyrannical discrimination and one foot forward sends them five steps back.
This prejudice towards gender and race won’t just make you angry, it will make you feel ashamed. But you’ll be damn well rooting for and applauding these girls for the entirety of this feel-good drama. The smooth storytelling is complemented by an outstanding music score from Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams and Benjamin Wakkfusch, which really makes this affecting dramatisation soar.
The headlining stars are not hidden in our world by any means – Henson is an Oscar nominee, Spencer an Oscar winner, and Monáe a chart-topping musician and emerging actress. Their committed and heartfelt performances give the real hidden figures a new voice in this magnificently inspiring film.
In cinemas: February 16, 2017
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
Directed by: Theodore Melfi