FILM REVIEWS

Hidden Figures

ADD TO MY FAVORITES
8/10 PG 02 hr 07 min

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By Richard Von Busack January 6, 2017

A moving tale is marred by a poor script in segregation story Read More

By Reno September 20, 2017

**The other side story of the historic event!**

This film did not just represented the black people, but the women as well. Today we talk about discrimination against women, though this film is an example that it all had started way long ago, yet the struggle has not ended. Anyway, this is a biopic, a biopic of three women and their struggle not just being a black, but being women. When the nation was eager to send its first man to the space, there was some trouble within the team who are behind it to work together as one. Lots of inspiring events reveal how the history was made and the working culture was changed forever inside the NASA.

The film was nominated for the Oscars in the three slots, but did not win any. That's fine, because I would prefer those real women to be recognised over what this film had achieved. All the three actresses were good. Their roles were unique from one another. Really a wonder film about three real persons in one film. Something rare in films to highlight their achievements equally. The personal life, as well as their professional was well briefed.

The others like Kevin and Dunst in small part were also good. Directed by just a one film old filmmaker. He did good. The screenplay was adapted from the book of the same name. Deserved all the awards and praises it had received. After seeing how it had ended, a sequel could be possible. Mission Moon. I hope they would consider it! Seems a nice idea!

_8/10_

By Richard von Busack January 6, 2017

It's clear that Hidden Figures is a story that demands to be told, and it's a pity it wasn't told better. It honors the essential work that three African-American number-crunchers did at Langley, Virginia, in 1961-62, shortly before NASA moved to Texas. Room-sized IBM 7090s were being used to figure out how to bring home Col. John Glenn (Glen Powell) after his orbit around the earth. In this version, it's unsung human calculators that save the mission.

Taraji P. Henson is Kathryn Johnson, a mathlete with oversized spectacles that keep sliding down her nose. Janelle Monae is her colleague Mary Jackson; and Octavia Spencer plays Dorothy Vaughan, the supervisor in everything but job title in the Colored Computing Section. Director Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent) reprises the humiliations of segregated restrooms and schools, still disgracing our nation even as we aimed for the stars.

The clever title refers both to the women hidden from the history book as well as to the redacted calculations these engineers checked, with key information blacked out for security reasons. Scenes of early space travel, in CG form, have some of the excitement of Phil Kaufman's The Right Stuff. But the problem is the script, co-written by Stanford alumnus Allison Schroeder and Melfi, adapting Margot Lee Shetterly's non-fiction book. Adaptation, in this case, means adding a ticking clock that pounds like the Tell-Tale Heart itself as Glenn prepares to launch. (He's seen standing around waiting for Johnson's final calculations before he goes into orbit.) The dinner table scenes are of Tyler Perry banality. Characters stand and deliver their backstories: "I'm a Polish Jew whose parents died in a concentration camp," one announces.

Perhaps at some point Hidden Figures was sold as a trip to the Mad Men era—Jim Parsons, as a snide middle-managing scold, has a resemblance to Vincent Kartheiser. Kevin Costner excels as this Jon Hamm-worthy JFK-era boss in baggy white business shirts and skinny ties. Powell's version of the late John Glenn is a knightly, fearless figure, a dream of an astronaut. (His silver space suit fits as if it were tailored.) Powell and Costner tend to eclipse both Monae and the co-starring Mahershala Ali, as Kathryn's love interest... never mind that Monae and Ali were indelible figures in the recent Moonlight. The movie is loaded with actors who are sharper than their material.

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