Movie Review by Myla Tosatto
We already knew that John Glenn was a hero of the space program, but wait until you meet Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (KC’s own Janelle Monáe) in Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures. The movie intertwines the lives of three extraordinary women who made NASA what it is and more specifically helped John Glenn successfully orbit the earth. The main focus of the movie is math wiz Katherine, exhibiting her humanity and smarts in the face of a nation that was segregated. Dorothy showed her bravery and leadership in a time when black women were looked down upon. Mary was strong and had more gumption than most other engineers at NASA. These three make for incredible role models for our children and for us.
Rounding out the cast is Kevin Costner as Al Harrison, Kirsten Dunst (Vivan Mitchell), Jim Parsons (Paul Stafford), Mahershala Ali (Colonel Jim Johnson), Aldis Hodge (Levi Jackson), and Glen Powell (John Glenn.) They are working from a sharp script from Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly (which will be my next read!). The soundtrack is different in that it eschews the usual familiar 60’s tunes and offers up originals by Pharrell Williams with the help of Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and Janelle Monáe. Perhaps it’s time to give up the Frozen soundtrack and let the kiddies get down to this album?
This movie is made for pretty much everyone. Bring your kids, parents, co-workers, girlfriends, date night partner, bus driver, librarian, favorite sales clerk, and beekeeper. It’s a film that works on all levels and will keep everyone entertained. At the end of the showing, people burst into applause. By my count, that was the 4th time it happened. Then more applause broke out after they showed the real life counterparts and their accomplishments. This movie will make you feel empowered and make you want to push for a brighter future for all.
Three brilliant African-American women at NASA — Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) — serve as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race and galvanized the world.
Hidden Figures is now playing in theaters!