I don’t pretend to understand everything about “Hidden Figures”, about three brilliant women who worked for NASA in the early 1960’s, but instead of being put off, I found myself intrigued, even wanting to know more about the work they did following the events of this film. Taraji P. Henson is perfectly cast as a mathematical genius who has to work hard to prove to her boss (Kevin Costner), that she has what it takes to work for NASA, in an era where it was uncommon for women of color to be promoted to high positions. Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe make up the rest of cast and they’re terrific as well (especially Spencer who earned a well-deserved Oscar nomination). The message may not be original, but the story certainly is. Writer/director Theodore Melfi strives hard, and mostly succeeds in celebrating the life and work of these women. My only concern is that I found it hard to grasp all the information regarding spatial theories (I admit: I wasn’t the brightest kid when it came to math and physics). But if “Hidden Figures” is less than perfect, it’s still a good movie that covers a lot of ground with an observant eye, and offers juicy parts for three great actresses. That alone is worth celebrating.
★★★ Very good