Following the true story of three black women defying the odds to be a part of the American space race, Hidden Figures is a biographical drama packed full of charm that almost overshadows its lazy, expository dialogue and cliche character journey of succeeding no matter what.
The story follows three women, Katherine (Taraji Henson), Dorothy (Octavia Spencer)and Mary (Janelle Monae) who rise through the ranks of NASA as the best mathematicians and have a big hand in helping getting an American person into space. The story is suitably predictable – you know these women will succeed from the off – any of the trials and tribulations the women go through are explored but quickly resolved. Whether that be a segregated bathroom for blacks only, a black only kettle to be used or a certain qualification needing to be obtained to become a black engineer, the women blast through these obstacles throughout the film.
That’s not to say the film is bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s one of the weakest films that was nominated for Best Picture this year at the Oscars and its hardly as groundbreaking as films like Moonlight that push the boundaries but Hidden Figures is good for what it is – a feel good drama with a predictable ending.
The music and setting are both good and Paul Stafford (Jim Parsons) is actually surprisingly good here as well. Flexing his acting muscles in a role completely different to Sheldon from Big Bang Theory, his performance is arguably the only surprising thing from this movie.
Whilst the themes of never giving up and equality for blacks are both important messages, I can’t help but feel they’ve been done better and more intelligently in other films. Hidden Figures is worth a watch though, there are some good chunks of acting despite some of the dialogue being lazily written. Overall, I would recommend Hidden Figures but if you’re expecting something groundbreaking in this field, it might be best to look elsewhere.