There are a lot of powerful stories on screen at the moment, but the untold story of NASA’s greatest minds during the 1960s space orbit of John Glenn is one that is going to trump them all.
Poignant, empowering and sweetly entertaining, Hidden Figures trumps them all because despite being set over 50 years ago, it’s a story that is still relevant to women everywhere.
Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) are some of NASA’s brightest minds, hidden in the depths of the space facility because they’re 1) women, and 2) black.
In the 60s, segregation is still rife in America and the intelligence of women is still being underestimated, yet Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson achieved amazing things and ultimately paved the way for many women to follow. It is a powerful film, but it’s also an important story for girls today, when there is still plenty of racial hate and sexism in the world. If nothing else, it shows us that women can do incredible things – and then amended to a footnote in a history textbook before someone comes along to make an Oscar-nominated film about them.
Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Glen Powell and Jim Parsons offer remarkably honest performances, but Henson, Spencer and Monáe steal the spotlight. While the names of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson might not mean much to you now, this visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines (maintaining dignity in their high heels) to inspire generations to dream big. Once leaving the cinema, these become names that will be hard to forget.