What a film!
Award worthy indeed, I absolutely love the way US folk manage to include pathos in drama where one moment your heartfelt swept up in the moment and the next laughing with joy, but seriously lay off the cheese. That said for a patriotic movie (against the Russians of course) it did well in showing US failures both in ethics and the space race whilst portraying the 60’s attitudes and work ethics in a way that is comparable today.
In a way it reminded me of one of my favourite films 9 to 5 (1980) but with mathematics and Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, who unfortunately still played Sheldon but toned down and kudos to ‘him’ for playing no:2 instead of no:1 in the genius stakes. Kevin Costner was pretty damned apt at playing someone open minded enough to realize that to be the best (or at least ruthless) you have to at the very least pretend to push aside prejudice but at the same time a person who doesn’t see what’s in front of his face until it’s heavily pointed out. Kirsten Dunst did well as a woman forced to respect other women. The leading ladies were brilliant, of course, an absolute delight to watch and I couldn’t stop smiling every time I saw them (regardless of my severe discomfort due to ‘illness’). I really wanted to see and understand the equations better but I did enjoy knowing how to fix the flaws in their basic explanations e.g. the heat shield and the change in elliptical path. I did love the fact that they reverted to ‘ancient’ mathematics for ‘Atlas’ i.e. remembering the lessons of the forbears rather than needing or thinking they were inventing new theories.
It did make me wonder if/why there weren’t any Mexican, South American or other ‘ethnic’ (hate that word, White and Eurasian people are ethnic too) races involved or just Black vs White (though interestingly Black people were referred to as Browns vs Virginia [state]).
I always dislike seeing/knowing just how much it takes one person to go through to make any kind of change let alone wide ranging changes and then those individuals have to push others ahead as well considerately and sometimes to the individual’s own detriment to build enough confidence in a group to support them. Otherwise they’re practically left outside alone (as a minority or even worse, an extremist) and social change then takes forever. For all the hardship the women faced in the film and indeed also deference and respect from their male peers (which was strange to see) we haven’t come far as a society and in the end I was left thinking – great we made it into space and we can’t even solve out domestic problems, technologically forwards and socially backwards, what a way to spread our problems to the rest of the solar system and galaxy… And who knows where else.
I think NASA could’ve been portrayed a lot worse than they were (and the poster boy astronaut was particularly sickening but at least he had faith in our first amongst equals leading lady or ‘computer’ as she and those like her were known) but the film had to be funny to make it more palatable not only as a meta-nonfiction story but to the inclusive audience watching; teenage and adult women and men of all colours.
Moving on, some snaps of what I was wearing:
9 to 5 (1980) (featuring another Dolly 😉 and I love it when Lily i.e. ‘Violet’ demands a little dignity and respect! How much do you have to go through just to be treated with the same basic rights as everybody else!?)
P.S – both Hidden Figures and 9 to 5 feature awesome period fashion hence the addition of my photos and a non-in depth review (though I’m far too tired for more detail).