Hidden Figures is a biographical drama directed by Theodore Melfi and stars Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe. The story is based on the non-fiction book of the same name about African-American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The film focuses on Katherine Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monáe) who worked at NASA at a time of segregation, racism and the Civil Rights Movement.
My Knowledge and Expectation of Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures was the last of the Oscar nominated films that I had yet to see and I was looking forward to seeing it. A lot of that was down to the cast involved. Certainly, Octavia Spencer has remained fresh in mind ever since I saw The Help, which is a phenomenal film. Moreover, Kevin Costner is always a solid actor to have in any film and to see Mahershala Ali after his win at the Oscars intrigued me. The story itself is also really interesting and I love to learn about events and stories I never knew about before.
My Thoughts on Hidden Figures
I found Hidden Figures to be a very good film that is inspirational and very timely. The story is told with a lot of respect and is incredibly relevant to what is going on in the world today. A big reason why I liked the film was the performances of the Henson, Spencer and Monáe. They had really good chemistry when they were on screen together and their individual arcs in Hidden Figures were also very engaging and, at times, very moving.
The supporting cast also gave strong performances. Mahershala Ali played his role well even though it probably wasn’t as layered as his performance in Moonlight. Kevin Costner fitted perfectly into Hidden Figures. His look and demeanour just oozes 1960s United States and he has experience of that in past roles in films set in the same period such as JFK and Thirteen Days.
Another element of Hidden Figures that I really liked was the score which was composed by Hans Zimmer. It really complemented the tone of the film and it is completely deserving of the Golden Glove nomination it received for Best Original Score. Additionally, the Oscar nominations this film received in categories such as Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer were deserved too.
There is a lot to like about Hidden Figures and I think it is necessary viewing. The issues and themes within this inspirational story need to be experienced by a wider audience. Thankfully, the fact that certain charities, institutions, individuals and independent businesses have screened this film for free means that more people will experience Hidden Figures and understand its importance.