PG | | Drama
Review – Matt Mungle
Synopsis: A team of African-American women provide NASA with important
mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space
Review: Rarely do we get a PG rated film with as much depth and story as HIDDEN FIGURES. The untold story of three mathematical wizards working at NASA in a time when women, especially African-American women, were unheard of. At times humorous and always inspiring; this is a very enjoyable film.
Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) are focused on in this story. Each of them completely motivated and talented in their own field. Race is only one of the hurdles facing these ladies. All three are driven to overcome the obstacles of the day in order to achieve notoriety in a man’s world.
If the tale was not intriguing enough it is told against the backdrop of the early space race between Russia and the US. It was a time in American history when every citizen had their eyes on the skies. The fear that the Russians would not only beat us to the moon but drop bombs on us in the meantime had everyone on edge. Hidden Figures also focuses on this element and the team at NASA who were responsible to get Glenn (Glen Powell) in to orbit.
Kevin Costner plays Al Harrison the man in charge of it all. He is tasked managing the team and getting the job done. Costner gives us what we expect and it is a typical performance. Nothing we haven’t seen from him before but it works here. Jim Parsons also stars as a NASA mathematician and it is fun to watch him in the role. You actually don’t like him much which is a contrast to his Big Bang Theory character. Other notable supporting roles include Kirsten Dunst and Mahershala Ali.
Henson is fantastic in this role and helps the simplistic script. Although the story is great and the characters fresh the writing takes very few risks. Even the drama never feels heavy but skirts around the issues of the day modestly. This helps keep the PG rating but some may find it too light and fluffy. Much of the tension is erased with a convenient solution. The turmoil of the day is viewed through a different lens than other movies that deal with gender and race equality. It is actually refreshing and removes any agenda and allows the wonderful moments to shine through.
Rated PG for thematic elements and some language HIDDEN FIGURES is a film the entire family can enjoy. A cast of award winning men and women plus the inspiring story make it one of the better well rounded films of the Holidays. It gets 4 out of 5 blastoffs. If this is a sign of what 2017 has in store then it is going to be a wonderful year for movies indeed.