Drama | In English | 127 minutes
Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan are brilliant mathematicians recruited to work at NASA in the United States Space Program. The three are African Americans and the NASA offices in Langley, Virginia, at that time, are segregated by race and sex. Supervisor Vivian Mitchell assigns Katherine to assist Al Harrison and his Space Task Group. When Harrison learns Katherine has to spend 40 minutes each time she has to go to the segregated bathroom, he’s furious and ends that practice. Mary is told she can only advance in her job by taking an Engineering Certification Course. But the school where the course is given is segregated. Mary has to go to court to get approval to attend. The three women contribute mightily to John Glenn’s launch into space. After the mission, Katherine is reassigned to the Analysis and Computation Division, Dorothy continues to supervise the Programing Department, and Mary obtains her degree and starts working as an engineer for NASA. In 2015, Katherine was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the following year NASA dedicated the Langley Research Center’s Katherine G. Johnson Computational Building in her honor.
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 93%
- Metacritic Score: 74
National Board of Review: Listed as One of the Top Ten Films of the Year
Academy Awards: Nominated, Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder), and Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer)
Golden Globes: Nominated, Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer)
Screen Actors Guild Award: Winner, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
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Movies about brilliant scientific or mathematical minds often focus on their subject’s ego—not so with a new film about three African American women who worked at NASA in the ’60s. It’s a story of brilliance, but not ego. It’s a story of struggle and willpower, but not of individual glory. In casting a wide spotlight, the film imparts a profound appreciation for what was achieved in history’s shadows.”
HIDDEN FIGURES makes a fascinating and timely companion to LOVING, Jeff Nichols’s film about the Virginia couple who challenged the state’s law against interracial marriage. The two movies take place in the same state in the same era, and focus on the quiet dramas that move history forward. They introduce you to real people you might wish you had known more about earlier. They can fill you with outrage at the persistence of injustice and gratitude toward those who had the grit to stand up against it.”
HIDDEN FIGURES tells their stories with some of the year’s best writing, directing, and acting. Co-writer/director Theodore Melfi, with co-writer Allison Schroeder, has a light touch not often found in dramas like this, which makes the material all the more effective. This is one of the year’s best films.
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