By Dr. Diane Howard, Ph.D.
The top redemptive movie for the first week of January is “Hidden Figures.”
Opening Friday, this outstanding movie is based on a true story about an amazing team of African-American women during the American Civil Rights movement and space race of the 1960s.
It is primarily about brilliant African-American women who provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.
As the United States races against the Soviet Union to put a man in space, NASA finds brilliant talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians who serves as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history.
“Hidden Figures” is based on the incredible true-life stories of three of these women, known as “human computers.”
These women as they wisely, boldly and quickly rise in the ranks of NASA, alongside many of history’s greatest minds, are specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and guaranteeing his safe return.
Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) and Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) cross all gender, race and professional boundaries as their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly places them in U.S. history as true American heroes.
“Hidden Figures” has many outstanding elements: amazing true story set in fascinating and sad history; good acting; effective use of humor and romance; character role models (of perseverance, humility, determination and faith); inspiring Christian church, family and community support. The three female leads are engaging, captivating and delightful in their performances.
“Hidden Figures” features Kevin Costner as Al Harrison, Kirsten Dunst as Vivian Mitchell and other notable actors.
“Hidden Figures,” which is PG rated, is most appropriate for teens through adults due to its subject matter.
Unfortunately, the hard core administrator, Al Harrison, has one line early in the movie in which he takes our Lord’s name in vain. There are also honest, historic depictions of harsh treatment to African Americans.
However, the movie focuses on the gracious, strong and overcoming spirits of the African-American women at NASA and those who support them. This movie is inspirational, redemptive and hopeful. It challenges tragic stereotypes and honors those who have been unsung heroes.
Diane Howard is a frontline journalist of depth and breadth, known for live, exclusive interviews with leading figures in redemptive movies and other performance media. She’s also a dialogue, dialect and voice-over coach. Her IMDB credits are here.