We all knew the space race was a frantic one. But who knew the unsung heroes?
Driven by an absolutely phenomenal performance by Taraji P. Henson, ‘Hidden Figures’ is a wonder; an inspiring period piece about heroism and such, but even more importantly, an effective re-telling about the sacrifice of a handful of individuals who never received the ticker tape parade; i.e., it’s a pretty darn effective social tragedy.
Henson, most recently heralded for TV’s ‘Empire’, plays Katherine Johnson, one of a handful of African-American women who worked at NASA during the sprint against Russia to outer space in the 1960’s. Johnson, along with her team of friends, is forced to overcome racial obstacles, to succeed. Kevin Costner plays the white NASA supervisor that never seems to view race as an issue….in other words, he’s the guy physically taking down any barriers with force in order to help his team succeed – and he does it with typical ‘Costner’ attitude.
Mind you, Costner is no stranger to such fare; he has dabbled in social-issue films before, from playing Whitney Houston’s bodyguard to ‘JFK’, ‘Thirteen Days’, ‘Swing Vote’ and more. ‘Hidden Figures’, in comparison, is more of a celebration than a statement – the movie never feels as preachy as it is educational. Unlike today’s climate of undignified protests, this is a film that makes its mark and sends a message with class and courage. It’s smart….it’s captivating…and it carries such a vault of class, that it instantly rockets itself into the rare air as one of the best of the year.