Movie Review #5097 HIDDEN FIGURES
Excellent essay on American racial separatism in the early 60s using the Mercury space programme as a backdrop.
Three brilliant African-American women are recruited as human 'computers' to calculate launch trajectories of the Mercury spacecraft and the returning flight paths upon re-entry. Trouble is the space programme employs only whites for key positions and resistance to their presence is quite profound, especially when one of them tries to locate the coloured Ladies room in the building.
Kevin Costner leads the righteous charge, transforming from a 'that's the way it is' perspective to a more humanistic position, once he realises that these women are in fact more than capable, more so than any white male on his team - including a pompous Jim Parsons who carries his Sheldonesque demeanour over from Big Bang Theory.
Octavia Spencer (soon to be seen in the upcoming The Shack), Taraji Henson and Janelle Monae are the three female leads who perfectly weave their way through the quagmire of passive racial tension which seems to surface when any of the ladies appears to pop her head up above her station.
Has to be an Oscar contender with Henson, Spencer and Mr Kevin the standouts along with Kirsten Dunst who excels in her supporting role. A little long perhaps, but the portrayal of American separatism is brilliant, showing it as a subtle groundswell across American culture rather than the obvious hatred bigotry of other movies of the same genre. 9/10.
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since, I've been mesmerized by the giant screen, and the darkness that went on forever. Despite the infernally uncomfortable seats, (plus having to stand for God Save the Queen), I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism.