Hidden Figures: "Everytime We Get A Chance To Get Ahead, They Move The Finish Line"

Director: Theodore Melfi
Writer:     Allison Schroeder
                Theodore Melfi
Starring: Taraji P. Henson
                Octavia Spencer
                Janelle Monae
                Kevin Costner
                Kirsten Dunst
                Jim Parsons
                Glen Powell
Rating:    *****

Release Date: Out Now

The world is backwards at the moment, people of high power are making worrying decisions, decisions that send us back generations. A world that was becoming more inclusive, open and generous is being forced back to a time of segregation, discrimination and fear. 

1961 was a time where despite the aggressive divide being forced between white people and black people, there was a glimmer of hope and more and more communities and employers were beginning to wise up and offer a palm leaf to those they had mistreated. There is no better example of this than the women who are the focus of this film, Hidden Figures.

Janelle Monae
NASA is determined to successfully send a man to space, doing their best to beat Russia to the punch; but unfortunately the calculations aren't adding up and they need more brains to make the prospect a reality. Enter Katherine Goble (Henson) a fast thinking mathematician, Mary Jackson (Monae) an engineer with big dreams, and Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) another mathematician with a keen eye for mechanics and computing. These three inspirational women have forever been pushed aside and overlooked for the 'far superior' white male; however those white men soon realise that race and gender don't come into play when it comes down to having a sharp mind.

These women are real, iconic figures from the past, and they are often overlooked. Thankfully Hidden Figures is here to tell their story to the masses. Bringing the three women to life are three superb talents, first up being Janelle Monae in only her a second acting role (starring also in last years Moonlight). Monae is quick, confident and full of passion; she has managed to give Mary Jackson the strength and poise that she deserves whilst giving her a wit and grace that compliment the character beautifully. 

Octavia Spencer
Octavia Spencer, who I have admired since since 2011's The Help (one of my first reviews), is the glue the holds this trio together. Acting as a mothering figure, no scrap that, a supervisory figure for the two younger ladies, she keeps them in check, gives them hope and ensures that everyone achieves their dreams before she can achieve her own. Spencer is made for this role, layering Dorothy with heart, ardour and generosity; and honouring her legacy in the process.

Finally the trio is rounded off by the standout star of the movie, Taraji P. Henson. Having recently found mainstream success after her breakout performance in TV's Empire; Henson gets to show off her dramatic abilities with far more subtlety and grace than ever before. Katherine Goble is the true brains behind NASA's operation ad despite severe segregation, judgement and lack of support from her colleagues, she stands up strong against adversity and proves to all that she can do it, and she will do it. Henson is the epitome of self-belief and her stand out performance is what drives the film and gives it the heart. 

Taraji P. Henson
In one particular scene, where Taraji delivers a speech to all of her male colleagues about how segregates she truly is, my eyes filled with tears, a mixture of sadness and pride; she was standing up for herself and didn't care what risk it posed to Herzl, because it was the right thing to do. Her performance in this particular scene was one that will stick with me for years t come.

Director and co-writer Theodore Melfi has created a piece of cinema to be proud of, a story that will go down in history as an inspiration to all, and I feel honoured to have seen it. A story that the world needs now; no matter what people say and think or how they treat you, if you believe in you abilities then you can achieve everything you want to. Skin colour, gender, sexuality and any other difference you may have is not what defines you, your mind does; and if you trust that and also your heart then you can be proud of all that you achieve. 

Hidden Figures - Trailer