‘Hidden Figures’ NOT Hidden Anymore

It has long been said that history is determined not always by those who remember it, but those who write it.

I am a history buff myself, but as the years roll by I have come to realize that much of what really actually happened even in the fairly recent past, may have been ignored or forgotten. My eyes were awakened by the new film Hidden Figures, as we discover for the first time, three very important African-American women at NASA who helped put astronaut John Glenn into space.

Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth, and he wouldn’t have done it without the help of these three women.

A story that should have been told over 50 years ago now comes to life. NASA employed all kinds of people, but some of them had to use different restrooms, 2 buildings away from where they worked so feverishly. Being black and female in 1962 America was quite a challenge. Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Octavia Spencer (Oscar winner for The Help), and singer Janelle Monae portray the three NASA pioneers, who conquered more math problems in this 90 minute film, than I have in a lifetime.   Kevin Costner plays the NASA supervisor who finally realizes that some of his top talent has been grossly discriminated against, right under his own NASA roof.

Hidden Figures perfectly nails the struggle of courageous,unheralded, smart, talented, people that you have never heard of, until now. Oprah Winfrey and Viola Davis were rumored to be interested in doing this film, but this casting choice was perfect. Octavia, Taraji, and Jannelle all give first rate performances, as does the always reliable Kevin Costner. Pharrell Williams did the musical score, Theodore Melfi directed.

The fashions, cars, and settings of this beautiful period piece are very well done. It is a shame that John Glenn passed away before this film came out. He never would have made that flight without these three Hidden Figures. I predict it will be a huge hit. It opens in LA on Christmas weekend, going wide on January 6th.

More from Bill Dudley
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