The first weekend of February my husband and I went to see “Hidden Figures”.
Much like “Hacksaw Ridge”, which I had seen three days before, I probably wouldn’t have seen this film if it hadn’t been nominated for Best Picture which would have been a shame because it is a good movie.
Considering the place this country currently stands in terms of race and gender relations I think that “Hidden Figures” is an important movie to see and it in theaters at exactly the right moment in American history. So often women, and especially women of color, have gone unappreciated in terms of their historical contributions. For that reason the story of “Hidden Figures” is an important one to be told. Like any movie that is based on a true story you know how “Hidden Figures” is going to end which means the execution is even more important than in a fictional film. And the execution here is good. The direction and writing is solid and with the exception of one white savior moment that didn’t happen in the real life the film is solid as a rock.
One of the many things I liked about this movie is that it gave three great roles to three African-American actresses, two of which are over the age of 45.
How many movies can say that? Although I don’t watch “Empire” I have been impressed by Taraji P. Henson’s talent ever since 2005’s “Hustle and Flow”. Henson is excellent in this movie. She creates a fully realized person who has dreams both professionally and personally, a person who fights for what she believes in and carries herself with dignity.
Octavia Spencer is excellent, as always, in her role. What I love about Spencer’s role is that it’s the least flashy of the three but she makes it significant and in the process she has made Oscar history as the first Black Actress to be nominated for an Oscar after winning (something the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Halle Berry and Jennifer Hudson haven’t done), not to mention she is one of only three Black Actresses to be nominated more than once (Goldberg and the now three times nominated Viola Davis are the others). As good as Henson and Spencer are I was the most impressed by Janelle Monae.
In both this film and “Moonlight” she has shown herself as an actress to look for in the future. In both films she creates a great screen presence and characters you truly care for and root for. Kevin Coster, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali and Kirstin Dunst are all good in their supporting roles. Among those three I found Dunst’s character the most interesting and timely, as a woman who is subtly racist despite the fact that she believes she isn’t prejudice at all she is the perfect depiction of so many people who were convinced to vote against their best interests of their own lives and the country as a whole this past November.
“Hidden Figures” may not be the best movie of 2016 but it certainly is one of the most important ones. I definitely recommend it for anybody who hasn’t seen it yet.
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Justin Gomez and his sister, Terri, have never been close. Separated by nine years and distant in adulthood, Justin and Terri have little in common, except for the love of her three children. In the days before they embark on a road trip to visit the father that once abandoned them and their now deceased mother, both Terri and Justin are dealing with unexpected changes in their lives. Justin surprisingly realizes he might want more than a series of one night stands after a first date goes unexpectedly well. After a lifetime of being a strong type A personality, Terri is forced to confront the reality of the end of her marriage. As they hit the road, with Terri’s children in tow, they find themselves forced to rely on and confide in each other following a devastating event. Confronted with memories from the past and challenges from the present, Terri and Justin must dig deep and unearth the truth about themselves and their parents in order to build a new family based on their love for each other.