Hidden figures is based on the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who were part of NASA’s team of human “computers.” The film takes us through their journey to not only break ground in the male, and White, dominated NASA program that was tasked with helping American Space Pilots such as Neil Armstrong and John Glenn to travel into space and make it home safely again. These men depended on the group of “Human Computers” to make the complex calculations necessary as they did not have the computer servers at the time to make the calculations.
The film dives into the struggle faced by these women from their dealings with segregation, to their duties in keeping their family together in a racially charged time in American History. We picked up this film again and watched it for review as the film was nominated in practically every awards show available, and racked up an impressive amount of wins in the 2016 – 2017 awards season.
Some of the interesting plot points to us was the character growth of Al Harrison, the director played by Kevin Costner, and Vivian Mitchell, the boss for the ladies in the Human Computers division played by Kirsten Dunst. In their own, both of these characters was faced with the bias of the time and by the end of the film was able to move outside that space and do some proper decisions that enhanced the main characters in the movie. It was clearly not the perfect set of acceptance you would like to see to wrap up the film, but it was a realistic step in the proper direction that felt real, and not just scripted. Although the character played by Costner was not based on a real person, but was a composite character created from different directors at NASA, it is a fine performance and makes for a good support to the main story line of the film. A particularly great moment in the movie is when Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji Henson is brought into a meeting with John Glenn to discuss where he will land on re-entry, and just steels the show by calculating this answer on the spot. Just a great moment in the film that really gets you rooting for her and the others working so hard in the film to prove they have the ability to keep up with their counterparts at NASA, and belong there.
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