One day in class, several students commented on how great the movie Hidden Figures is. I admitted that I had never seen it. One student’s level of shock and dismay would lead one to believe that I had just admitted to clubbing baby seals or drowning puppies. To appease her I agreed to watch the movie IF she could be on time to class every day for two weeks. I thought it was an easy challenge to win because this girl hadn’t gone two days straight without being tardy, much less two weeks.
Two weeks after the challenge was made, she managed to be on time every day. The good news for her was she won the challenge and I have to write a 300 word response to the movie. The bad news for her is she now has to be on time every day because she proved she could do it.
Here is my response to the movie:
My gut reaction to the movie was that I enjoyed it. I wouldn’t say it changed my life and it may not make my top ten list of greatest movies of all time. But is is definitely a movie that every American should watch at least once.
The plot revolves around a group of African-American women who were mathematicians for NASA before the age of the digital computer. These brilliant women were responsible for all the computations that would put a man in Earth’s orbit and eventually put a man on the moon. Spoiler alert: John Glenn goes into orbit and these ladies are the heroes. Since it is based on a true story, I kind of saw it coming.
Regardless, it was a triumphant story. A story that racked up a few Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. For years, I have not agreed with the Academy’s choice for Best Picture, so I don’t put a lot of stock in their nominations; but this film deserved the nomination.
I have not seen any of the director’s other movies, so he is not a household name (at least, not in my household). The cast is superb. Each actor did an amazing job. Admittedly, I was afraid there was bad news coming for one of the characters when she married the man portrayed by Mahershala Ali. He is a phenomenal actor, but I have only seen him play bad guys. Spoiler alert: he plays a great guy.
Kevin Costner is one of my favorite actors and he does a great job playing the man who is responsible for the success or failure of America’s place in the space race.
Kirsten Dunst was not right for the job. She is too young-looking and doesn’t come across as someone calling the shots. Spider-Man’s girlfriend, sure. NASA? Nerp.
Huge shout out to Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe. These three women made me feel their sadness, their triumphs, and their joys. I had all the feels watching these three performances.
The cinematography made this a beautiful movie to watch. The use of actual NASA footage made the whole film feel like a step back in time.
Hans Zimmer’s music does not disappoint. He always does a great job.
Bottom line: this will not be a film that I watch more than once, but I am certainly glad that I lost the challenge.