Benjamin Maio Mackay
Hidden Figures - 4 Stars
Hidden Figures is a joy from start to finish.
The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program.
I’ve long been a fan of Octavia Spencer’s work and this movie finally gives her a chance to shine. Even though her role is small her comedy scenes are perfect and her dramatic prowess is equally strong. I really hope she wins Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars next month. Taraji P. Henson is wonderful, she isn’t given much comedy, but her dramatic ability is superb. Janelle Monáe is the most wasted member of the Trio and I liked her performance, but wish I saw more of her. Glen Powell is one of my favourite rising stars and his performance is flawless. Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, Kirsten Dunst and Mahershala Ali also star in minor roles.
My problem with the film and I have only two is that it feels sensationalised. This is a true story, a story of empowerment and that is sometimes lost in the over-the-top drama. I still loved and enjoyed this film, one of the most enjoyable Oscar films this year, but it doesn’t have that gritty realism that would’ve grounded in more truth.
My other issue was the music, it felt too modern, a more classic soundtrack would’ve felt appropriate. Other than that I loved the direction, writing and cinematography. This movie just makes you feel good, it really empowers the whole audience.
Overall, while not critically the best Oscar contender, it’s one of my favourites by far.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of 20th Century Fox