, , , ,

Based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly, Hidden Figures, directed by Theodore Melfi, and starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, is quite simply an astonishing film.

It is a film that made me laugh because it was funny, laugh because otherwise I’d want to cry, cry at one of the sweetest romances on screen, and applaud both during and at the end.

Based on real events, albeit with some significant adjustments, the stories of Katherine Goble Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan are utterly compelling viewing.

Hidden Figures may well be my favourite space movie. Much as I adore The Right Stuff for the grand story of the early space race, or Apollo 13 for the quintessential disaster recovery story, it is October Sky and now Hidden Figures that are the truly personal stories of the space race.

It is in those personal stories, of kids escaping coal mining or black women rising purely on their brains and determination that a film can find a degree of emotional resonance that the even strain of test pilots and astronauts cannot match.

Because The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 are, ultimately, about maintaining that even strain under pressure, that cool professionalism that is expected of a space program.

October Sky is more about a dream, and resonates accordingly.

Hidden Figures has the dream, the professionalism, and the blatant discrimination as well. There’s just so much there for a talented director and actors to work with, and the cast and crew never miss a beat.

Hidden Figures is truly an amazing film, see it if you can.