Awards season is fast-approaching, which means the vast majority of films arriving in the coming months will either be long and sad indies or big-budget epics. Hidden Figures is an exception to this trend, offering a humorous and heartfelt story about three brilliant African-American women who helped change the world in the early 1960s.
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae star in Hidden Figures as Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, three women whose names the world should never forget. The trio served as the brains behind the 1962 launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit—a stunning achievement that turned around the Space Race. For one reason or another, however, their names are rarely seen in textbooks about our history in space compared to number of appearances made by the white men they worked alongside. I don’t know if this film will change that trend, but it should. Here’s the first trailer:
The caliber of talent on screen is undeniable, but what hooks me in this first look is the balance of wit and heart. The people seen in the footage above feel real, as does the world they exist within, and that’s pretty important considering everything shown really happened. So many films based on true events seem to believe it is unnecessary to properly capture the socio-political climate of the era in which their story takes place, but it is absolutely needed in a feature like this, and Hidden Figures looks to nail the tone.
Hidden Figures opens on January 13, 2017. Here’s the official synopsis:
“The incredible untold story of Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.”