Theodore Melfi’s award-winning Hidden Figures spins the remarkable tale of 3 of the incredible brains at NASA; African-American women Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) and Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) as they work to launch John Glenn into orbit in 1962, making him the first American to orbit Earth and nudging America into the lead in the Space Race.
Katherine, Mary and Dorothy are all mathematicians working as ‘computers’ at NASA in a back office with many other African-American women. As the story unfolds, we explore an arc for each of the female leads; watching them balance their home lives with their incredible work, despite the institutionalised racism and sexism they face on a daily basis.
Janelle Monáe in particular is fantastic, bringing real life and energy to the role of Mary Jackson, pulling many a laugh from the audience. Jim Parsons in a supporting role of Paul Stafford is also excellent; as a brilliant mind he is known well, but as an antagonist? Yet, he pulls it off. It is beautiful symbolism to watch the character of Paul come around to Katherine and finally appreciate her as they work alongside each other, as the world finally begins to correct its attitude towards segregation.
This charming, classic, feel-good film is not to be missed. Punches of humour, even in times of adversity, and an all-round fantastic cast lends Hidden Figures to be a true work of art. And rightly so, the brilliance of these women can finally be shared and celebrated.