Depressingly Still-Timely Period Flick



Based on true events, Hidden Figures tells the story of a group of black women (Octavia Spencer, Janelle Mon e and Taraji P. Henson) who were instrumental in NASA’s space program during the 1960s. Part of the “human computers” division, these women were responsible for the calculations that helped send John Glenn into space. It sounds to us like a relevant, timely story of race and gender issues — so we’re willing to overlook the fact that there are probably not any surprises here. Hidden Figures opens in wide release Jan. 6.

NICOLE: I know this is based on a true story, but I’m wondering just how close the film comes… Since the shifts in culture and history, why hasn’t this story been told earlier?

PAIGE: This movie looks good, but so clich . Of course no one takes these black women seriously. Of course they are going to be given a chance to prove themselves beyond belief. Of course they are going to succeed in the end. The icing on the cake is that Kevin Costner is the White Man Who Believes In Them, Contrary To The Ideals Of His Time, even when Jim Parsons and Kirsten Dunst seem kind of lukewarm about it. But I guess we should be glad these kinds of stories are being told at all.

CHRISTINA: It looks good, but I admit that I kind of forgot about the trailer as soon as I watched it — I think because, as Paige points out, it does seem a bit clich .

JAIMIE: I like the cast except for maybe Kevin Costner. I can’t decide if I like him or not. He’s always struck me as just a little creepy in everything he does, even when he’s supposed to be playing the well-intended nice man.

NICOLE: I am excited for Janelle Mon e. She’s the best. And possibly for Jim Parsons because I want to see him in something other than The Big Bang Theory.

PAIGE: I was not aware Janelle Mon e was an actress! I thought she was just a singer who always wore tuxedos. It’s so strange to see her wearing a ‘60s dress. She seems pretty solid from this trailer though.

CHRISTINA: Yeah, Janelle Monáe’s character looks hilarious.

JAIMIE: I had been hearing a lot of positive reviews for this movie without really knowing what the film was about. Now, having watch the trailer, I think I am interested. Though as funny as it seems, it also seems mildly depressing. What with all the gendered truths the movies seems to touch upon — especially considering that this movie is taking place in the ‘60s, and while things have advanced for women, they haven’t really changed much.