Sweet Lord, this film was incredible. I rocked up with my usual selection of non-cinema snacks (raspberries, blueberries, Oreo thins, y’know the drill) and a blanket. Little did I know I was settling in to watch my favourite film of the year. I say that knowing that it’s only February 2017 and that the live action remake of Beauty and the Beast (my favourite Disney film) is on the way. So let me repeat myself, this is my favourite film of the year.
It was one of the only films to ever make me audibly cheer and physically punch the air. I had goosebumps throughout and I wasn’t alone. Usually, I’m all for a silent cinema experience and cast my disapproving eye on anyone rustling popcorn during the quiet portions of the film. But this film was different, Hidden Figures genuinely united the entire theatre as every one of us was rooting for these three girls.
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae delivered incredibly powerful performances, each creating fully-formed, dynamic characters for the audience to relate to. My personal favourite was Janelle Monae’s character, Mary Jackson – technically Katherine (Taraji Henson) is the main focus of the film but Mary’s sass and refusal to accept the idea that she couldn’t have what she wanted was downright intoxicating. For me, one of the best moments in the film was of course Katherine’s bathroom speech which left me on the edge of tears. Second to that had to be Mary taking her seat in a classroom of white men, front and centre.
One thing I did notice was the particular relevance of the opening scene. Three black women are approached by a police car, all three are unnerved. I couldn’t write a piece about Hidden Figures without pointing out the blatant parallels it draws between 1961 and 2017. The struggle for many black men, and especially black women, continues. We may have advanced considerably but the struggle is still evident, especially given the recent election results. I would highly, highly, recommend seeing this film just in order to remind ourselves how far we have come and what positive advancements can be made when we stop underestimating black women.
Go see this film if you want to feel hopeful, happy and a little reflective. It definitely gets my seal of approval.