• Iain Morison

An Aussie Review: 'Hidden Figures'

Photo courtesy of leonardmaltin.com

Everyone knows about the race into space, the period of time when Russia and America competed head-to-head to be the first nation to put a man on the moon. The story many people don’t know about are the stories of the people who worked behind the scenes, the people responsible for putting a man on the moon and the film ‘Hidden Figures’ tells one of those stories. ‘Hidden Figures’ tells the very human story of three African American woman working for NASA around the time of one of its greatest accomplishments of putting astronaut John Glenn into Orbit and returning him safely to Earth. It was the defining moment that turned the momentum of the space race but it was also a time of racial segregation in many of America’s institutions.

Photo courtesy of IMP Awards

The three lead characters, Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), all offer outstanding performances, but it is Taraji Henson as Katherine who really stands out. Her brilliant acting made this film shine and captured the emotions and racial tension that were so prominent during the time period. Director Ted Melfi can give himself a pat on the back for this feel-good masterpiece.

‘Hidden Figures’ tells a story of struggle and the willpower that these young black women had when facing segregation, knowing that they were some of the smartest people at NASA. What this movie does a great job of doing is not highlighting a single character study, but instead, celebrating the friendship and sisterhood that these brilliant minds shared.

Overall, ‘Hidden Figures’ is a feel-good depiction of three African American women that overcame all kinds of challenges and became crucial players in one of the biggest accomplishments of man-kind. Overall rating: 8.5/10

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