Monday, 6 March 2017

Hidden Figures

The lack of black nominations last year generated the #oscarssowhite trend on twitter but this year the number of black nominees for acting, directing, cinematography and of course best film has left them rather satisfied. Contrary to a tragically commonly held belief, the reason these films were nominated have nothing to do with the hashtag but the quality of the films, performances and the work by those involved. 
One of the films to be nominated for Best Picture was Hidden Figures, a film about black women (focusing on three black women in particular) who work at NASA and have to battle against racism and sexism so that they can receive the respect and accreditation they deserve. With their highly valued skills they are an important asset to NASA but the attitudes towards their gender and skin colour hold them back.

Not to discredit Hidden Figures in anyway but the film is certainly one that ticks all the right boxes for it to get the Oscar nod. It’s an uplifting watch, features three highly charismatic and funny characters, discusses an important and sensitive subject matter, has a white character fight against the social norms of the time, and, arguably, packages up everything a little too nicely. However, I could not help but be enthralled and uplifted by this rather charming and enjoyable film that is powered by three excellent central performances from Taraji P.Henson, Janelle MonĂ¡e, and the Oscar nominated Octavia Spencer.

The film's main themes are still very relevant today, women don't make up much of the workforce, and are still subject of sexism, in the scientific fields (it’s laughably absurd that Katherine Goble wasn’t allowed in an important planning meeting because there wasn’t a protocol for women attending planning meetings). Even though a lot of liberties were taken with the truth (NASA wasn’t segregated in 1961) segregation was very much a reality for black women in the early 60s and the themes of the film still resonate today with outdated attitudes and the low number of women in the scientific community.

The fictional aspects of film serve as a way to discuss the themes of the film, but it does end up creating a feeling that the drama feels a little unauthentic, as much was only added to spice up what is already a remarkable and inspiring story. It’s a small drawback but the overall quality of the picture is impressive enough so that it doesn’t detract from the overall experience. 


  1. Agreed, it's predictable but fun and well-acted. Hard not to like it.

  2. I was okay with it being predictable too, it was just so enjoyable. I couldn't help but love it.