“Hidden Figures presents a different angle to what it means to be black in America.”
Title: Hidden Figures
Director: Theodore Melfi 👨🏼 🇺🇸
Writers: Screenplay by Allison Schroeder 👩🏼 🇺🇸 and Theodore Melfi 👨🏼 🇺🇸 , book by Margot Lee Shetterly 👩🏾 🇺🇸
Reviewed by Li 👩🏻 🇺🇸
Incredible true story, stand-out performances, and engaging storytelling. I would give Hidden Figures a 5/5 but for the one, minor flaw in that this film is a bit simplistic. It’s the classic Hollywood “feel-good” story and doesn’t add much to the current conversation about being black in modern-day America.
Does it pass the Bechdel Test? YES
GradeMyMovie.com Assessment: 48% of creative decision-makers were female
The premise of Hidden Figures follows three strong women who overcome their circumstances through hard work and guts. Women get their share of lines and the supporting cast is balanced in a way that’s realistic to Virginia in the 1960s.
GradeMyMovie.com Assessment: 28% of creative decision-makers were POC
While the film does not depict other minority groups, this is perfectly fine seeing as how black and white Americans combined made up 96% of the U.S. population in 1960.* Instead, Hidden Figures is an exploration of black voices that have been lost in American history and the creators are right to focus on this group.
Not only that, Hidden Figures highlights a secondary but equally ignored faction of black Americans: math nerds. While I enjoyed films such as Straight Outta Compton or Creed, they reinforced society’s idea of black Americans as rappers or fatherless youths. Meanwhile, Hidden Figures illuminates a different path that black Americans have been walking for decades and challenges us to re-evaluate our subconscious biases.
Mediaversity Grade: A (4.83/5)
Hidden Figures is a wonderful film that my viewing partner and I both enjoyed to the fullest extent. To note, my friend is a straight, white man whose media preference resides in traditionally male-dominated genres. I only mention this because it takes a very strong film to appeal to both our sensibilities, and yet he and I left the theater with huge smiles on our faces.
Will this be a thought-provoking, genre-busting, arthouse film that upends the conversation about race? Hardly. But Hidden Figures presents a different angle to what it means to be black in America and delivers it to a wide audience, executed flawlessly. And for that, I applaud this film.