Do you ever watch a movie that is so good and so important that you just want to go around and tell as many people about it as you can because that's kind of how I feel about Hidden Figures. This film is directed by Theodore Melfi and stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. It is based on a non-fiction book by the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly.
It follows the lives of three woman of colour, Katherine Goble (Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monae). These three women work as computers at NASA, which means they tend to do a lot of the high-level calculations, along with several other African-American women in the West Area. Katherine is assigned to the Space Task Group, becoming one of two women in the room and the only African-American. Mary, after some encouragement, starts looking into becoming an engineer. Dorothy, who has been lobbying for a supervisor position, leans of a computer arriving that can do their job faster then they can.
The three actresses were obviously loving their roles, not one of whom I felt was miscast. Jim Parsons playing a uptight scientist is good for a chuckle. There is definite chemistry between Katherine and Mary's respective love interests and them. In Mary's case, it shows that no matter how she talks about other men, she does love her husband.
Before I saw this movie, I had no idea that NASA employed women in that sort of time as anything beyond secretarial or custodial positions. I certainly had no idea they would be doing the sort of work they do during this film, or that they were employed in such large numbers. I felt I learnt a lot while watching, but it was presented in such a way that you don't realise you are learning.
The dialogue is often funny, laugh-out-loud funny. It got a chuckle out of everyone watching in my cinema in the UK, which is saying something. I've noticed that in cinemas in America, the audience tends to laugh more openly than at a cinema in the UK. The movie however retains it's heart throughout, and the story is certainly touching in places. It bought a tear to my eye, but that's not hard to do, since I cry at everything! But the overall story is one that is both moving and funny, sometimes even at the same time. It's the sort of film that leaves you feeling a little happier about life once you've finished watching it.
I recommend this film to space geeks and anyone who enjoys learning about important historical women. If that sentence doesn't apply to everyone in the world, I have to ask why not.