Monthly Archives: January 2017
It’s 1960 America, and everyone is gearing up for the Great Space Race between Russia and the United States of America. The Russians have already successfully sent a dummy, and dog into space, proving that life can survive those extreme conditions. When NASA finds that they’ve sent Yuri Gagarin to space, officially beating them in that regard, the race heats up and NASA is under fire to send someone into space; after all, you can’t fund a space program that doesn’t go into space. That is where three brilliant black women; Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, and Mary Jackson come in. This movie tells their hidden story within the Great Space Race.
- The STORY
- If you’re a history buff, you may assume you know all there is to know about American History. However, there are little stories within bigger stories that no one really knows about. This is one of them. And it’s told really well. The story of these three women fighting incredible odds (being both women as well as black in this time of segregation and tension) and beating those amazing odds is nothing short of fascinating and interesting.
- The CHARACTERS
- It’s one thing to have a great story, but that means nothing if the characters are boring. The characters here are incredibly fascinating. My particular favorite was Mary Jackson-incredibly sassy, witty not willing to take shiz from anyone. In fact all three ladies seem like very interesting people to be around.. Al Harrison the director of the Space Task Group was also a cool character-for a minor character he certainly stood out. You could tell he hated the segregation laws that NASA enforced, and there’s a wonderful scene that shows you exactly how he felt about THAT little fact.
- The SOUNDTRACK
- The score was produced by both Hans Zimmer and Pharrell Williams and it while does clash from time to time, that clash actually works well too in a weird way. Pharrell’s touch really brings you back to the time period this is set in, while Zimmer’s presence helps build the tension and add to the softer moments of the film.
- The ACTING
- Everyone brings their all to this film. In particular the stand out performances are Kevin Costner, and Taraji Henson as Al Harrison and Katherine Johnson respectively. They’re both definitely going to be in more films after this believe me.
- The PACING
- At times the pacing kind of slows down not quite to a halt but close enough. Which in part makes sense; you’re telling the lives of these women and have to show their personal lives as well. However, the double edged sword of that is that it kind of slows the movie down a bit. It doesn’t ruin the movie at all, but the slower pacing is kind of noticeable.
In the end, Hidden Figures is a rather well told story of the hidden story within the really well known story of the Space Race. It’s kind of hard to comprehend at times just WHY America had to make it to space first, and Kevin Costner does explain why in a few sentences but the line of thinking goes along “do you want the freedom loving Americans to hit the moon and beyond first or them Communists?”. But in the end, the Race proves to be exciting, especially with Glenn actually being launched in the end. The characters are interesting, the acting is top notch, the music is catchy and brings you right back to the 60s…The only real downside to this film is the wonky pacing but once you look past that you’ll learn of a truly amazing story of how three black women helped propel NASA to the finish line of the Space Race.
Hidden Figures gets a 4.5/5 from me. It’s a great film, but the pacing keeps it from getting 5 stars.