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Hidden Figures (2016)  

24 members have voted

  1. 1. What grade would you give Hidden Figures (2016)?

    • A
      16
    • B
      8
    • C
      0
    • D
      0
    • F
      0


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filmlover    25,145

Movies don't get more feel-good inspirational than Hidden Figures, which tells the true story of black female mathematicians who worked at NASA at a time when it was unthinkable for someone who was either black or a woman to work in such field. That we haven't seen many movies about black women in science is enough for the movie to overcome its familiar underdog trappings, but the movie succeeds as both entertainment and as a history lesson without ever becoming preachy or boring. The main reason the film should be seen is because of the wonderful performance from Taraji P. Henson, who imbues Katherine Johnson with instant likability and determination that makes the character easy to root for. It's a shame that she's probably going to miss an Oscar nomination due to a competitive field. Octavia Spencer is great as always, while singer-turned-actress Janelle Monae has established herself as one to watch out for between this and Moonlight this year. Surrounding them is an excellent ensemble cast that includes Kevin Costner (continuing his string of great performances in recent years), Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, and Glen Powell (as the recently departed John Glenn). This is a complete crowdpleaser that had my audience applauding during certain points of the movie and, given what's unfortunately been going on in the world, the timing of it couldn't better. B+

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antovolk    6,154

Solid, solid stuff. I'm a total sucker for movies about the behind the scenes of space like that so I really really enjoyed this. Like La La Land, and even more so here, this is a very welcome change of pace from the other contenders. Taraji, Janelle and Costner were AWESOME; Octavia, Mahershala and Jim wow-I-did-not-know-he-was-in-this Parsons were also really welcome to see. Also Zimmer/Pharell/Wallfisch's score was delightful too. In fact the only things against it are that it's almost too feel-good and textbook Oscar movie, but in the best way; and that it doesn't have the auteur flair we've all come to expect from these prestige dramas, even from stuff like say Lonergan with MBTS. Just yeah, it's awesome.

8/10

P.S. also it's not out till Feb 17 here so I'm not as annoyed now that this surprise screening wasn't Jackie :P

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dashrendar44    18,428

Fairly standard in execution, mostly light on tone (it's never dour as it embraces the overall optimism and drive of the main female trio of witty characters) and classic straight-forward drama inspired by real events but overall the characters depiction and interpretation of three brilliant minds (played by Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer and singer Janelle Monae) working at NASA's West Virginia "coloured computer division" (tasked on USA's first space programs trying to catch up with the soviets), in the face of adversity and prejudice are so heartwarming and inspirational, it compensates the weaknesses by showcasing the powerful strength of unity when people of different creed join together to reach for the stars, bounding over a common ideal and it's even more damning how american people could send a human being (Godspeed John Glenn) orbiting earth in a rocket demonstrating such remarkable intelligence in doing so but was crippled with stupid prejudices denying equality and civil rights to the smart human beings on the ground (Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn, Mary Jackson and their fellow "computers" ladies) that helped achieve this historical feat of science, mesmerizing the whole world, based on the mere color of their skin. As a parrallel, much like having to see beyond the numbers and challenge uncharted territories in astrophysics to achieve that dream of sending the first american astronaut around earth pushing the limits, the main characters have to apply that philosophy on a personal level to challenge the seemingly limiting statu quo of then american society that stood as an obstacle to achieve their dreams.

 

By the end of the movie, I was deeply moved by what those women have achieved, challenging the pre-conceptions of their era on every levels (both personal and professional), their personal struggle to be acknowledged and recognized as legitimate engineers while being ostracized, their underestimated impact on american history which was treated as a footnote nor even taught in school. (I've never heard about that coloured women NASA division until the movie announcement. I was floored as a black guy who wrongly thought the first space programs were entirely white men's labor and achievement while black people were looking at that from the sidelines of american history). Tears were flowing down my cheeks. 

 

A movie celebrating black women's greatness when being black AND a woman was a double penalty in american society keeping you from achieving your dreams and enduring daily humiliations. (Taraji Henson's confrontation with Costner about her constant absence off her desk seems trivial at first but embodies the peer pressure put on the shoulders on this brilliant but modest black woman being looked down upon and expected to tackle complex calculations giving the absolute best she can while remaining uncredited for her crucial work in this hostile context, under critical circumstances dampening her overachievements nobody wants to acknowledge or begrudgingly does so. Being merely good is not an option to succeed on merit and hard studies for segregated black people looking for a graduating education and a better life, you're still seen as an underachieving second class scrub being given favors by the white ruling class. And yet, being proficient and better than everybody else in a given field still doesn't mean shit when you're a black individual, you're still not part of the team and seem like a threat until a white guy gives the reluctant stamp of approval out of pragmatism when his gain is on the line. Sadly, nothing has much changed in that regard).

 

A- /B+

Edited by dashrendar44
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GeneralKong    104

The performances are fantastic, but the film ultimately tries to do way too much by condensing a mini-series' worth of material into two hours. As a result, two of its three highly talented leads, Monae especially, are left with arcs that warranted further development than that allowed by the limitations of its script. Additionally, the film's inspirational genre trappings and running time limitations cause it to fall into the cliche trap of using the dramatic speech and subsequent montage to resolve conflicts at certain points, to its overall detriment. Even so, it is still an entertaining movie-going experience with potential use as a tool for the fostering of meaningful dialogue, flaws and all. 

6.5/10

Edited by GeneralKong

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Morieris    881

Entertaining, with really good crowd reaction, but I don't disagree when people describe it as "Three TV movies jammed into one". It doesn't quite cut short the good acting work of everyone involved, but it doesn't feel that each lead gets equal time on the screen. B- 

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aabattery    16,292

This movie is really nice. It's pretty by the books but they do everything right. A-

 

ps. Glen Powell is on the verge of a breakout. I can feel it.

 

pps. janelle monae marry me pls

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filmlover    25,145
14 hours ago, AABATTERY said:

ps. Glen Powell is on the verge of a breakout. I can feel it.

He is. He had a great year between this and Everybody Wants Some, plus he often stole the show on Scream Queens.

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Blankments    25,427

Hidden Figures is a solid historical drama about the final frontier. Every aspect of filmmaking is performed at least adequately, and the acting is all-around excellent. Henson in particular gives a performance better than material she has to work with. However, the film is so focused on being acceptable that it really doesn't have much of a flavor of its own. Hidden Figures is an enjoyable watch with well-executed funny and heartfelt, but thanks to a lack of any creative touch, will ultimately prove to be a forgettable film that was made only to win awards, rather than a truly artistic endeavor. B-

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narniadis    3,582

Fantastic Film - easily in my top 5 of the year. It may be pretty standard in format and execution but it is done well. As noted by others though - it would have been interesting to see what they could have done with a much longer run time as far as delving deeper into the goings on.

 

A-/B+ Taraji was fantastic (as was the whole cast) and she will hopefully one day get her due. At this stage I would almost be afraid to be a AA Female lead with Octavia Spencer as my supporting lol.

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