Hidden Figures: A Movie Where It All Comes Together

You know that kind of movie you hear crazy buzz about featuring a great cast and good writing, but you still go into this cinematic experience low key skeptical? Then you get proven wrong AF. That’s what watching Hidden Figures was for me. That’s why I feel supremely moronic. That’s why you should go see this insanely good movie.

It was everything it had to be. Historic. Literary fire. Stimulating. Visually stunning. Tense. Racially charged. Triumphant. A glorious work of storytelling and adventure.


Hidden Figures features 3 of the most influential women in aeronautical history. I didn’t say Black or African American women, intentionally. Why? Because they were simply That. Fucking. Amazing. Women who blew me away over and over, with each and every passing scene. Janelle Monae, where you come from wit all these dope ass acting skills? First her beautiful performance in Best Picture Oscar winner, Moonlight, and now this? That’s gotta be some sort of record for an actress in her first two movies. Octavia Spencer, you have crushed every single one of your movies since day 1, more Oscars soon come. Taraji P. Henson? Wow. This woman has officially earned my utmost respect and dignity with this performance.

What we talkin bout, range? Taraji got the whole spectrum covered and smothered like grandma’s Thanksgiving Day gravy. For a woman who plays the flashy Cookie Lyon so damn ratchetly perfect, to transform into this astonishingly smart, yet timid individual is absolutely astounding. What we talkin bout, range inside the range? Not only does she play her character, Katherine, to a tee, but she gives Kat so much depth, fam.

From her witty and brazen comebacks when men underestimate her, to her old school shy and romantic side, to her inspiring capabilities as the only woman able to remain afloat in a sea of NASA testosterone and the only human in the room capable of certain analytics. Taraji’s Katherine personifies endearing strength in Hidden Figures.

Space Exploration

The thing that got me most hype was finding out about the different areas and departments of NASA that these women literally helped create and transform in the infantile stages of The Space Race. The ingenuity that Octavia Spencer’s Dorothy Vaughn showcases by placing herself in a position to hop all over the next generation of computing, in IBM. Sheer genius. Then to have the audacity to put your Black ass job security on the line in order to stand up for your people and guarantee your Black ass team’s employment moving forward?

Insanely powerful and proud moment: Janelle Monae’s Mary Jackson is the fireball engineer of the crew and I’m here for every second of it! She doesn’t hold her tongue, nor should she..unless she’s about to be clubbed by an officer of the law that is. Homegirl slays this role something stuuupid! I don’t know if it’s the perception I have of her from her music, but I did not expect her to possess so much sass, bravado, or any sort of a seductive side, but booooiiiii did she flip the script and hit us with the Sansa Black Swan swag. She came out the gates swingin’. Mary owning her early 1960s ability to look at and desire a man of any creed or color was one of the shining moments for me. Even if the trailer initially ruined it for me, the scene still packed a punch.


Let’s just pray we don’t ever have to deal with another one of those writer strikes, because the past decade has bestowed upon us so much genuine, top-notch writing for Black films. Hidden Figures is no different. These women so damn intelligent that they better had brought the penmanship.

I won’t sit here acting like I understood even a third of the equations and calculations that went down, explaining launch and reentry, but they sounded smart AF. Intelligence hasn’t looked this sexy since… Yo. I got nothin’.

[quote_simple]Sidebar: [/quote_simple]It just occurred to me that 99% of genius movies are about men, which got me Googling. Keira Knightley who played sidekick to Benny C-Patch in The Imitation Game (about Alan Touring, a male computing genius) said, “You’re asking if I’ve ever been offered a biopic about a female genius?” She ponders. “No! What is up with that! Go on, you’re a writer, write one. Do it! I would love to play a genius.” Let’s make it happen, Hollywood.

The writing really is remarkable. We all know it’s hard enough telling a proper story steeped in American history and tradition while making it engaging and enjoyable. But to take on the task of telling this story through the eyes of 3 Black women in the early 60s? Not a task for the faint-hearted. Excellent job highlighting the swag John Glenn had oozing out of every pore, as the only Navy SEAL in the group of astronauts, they considered sending up for the first American space orbit. Glenn was very accepting of African Americans at NASA and championed civil rights, but Hidden Figures just makes me love his ass more than ever. The IBM cameo was a pleasant surprise. Had no clue, one of America’s most iconic companies started out as a glorified calculator for NASA. Janelle’s Mary Jackson breaking down those segregated boundaries in racist ass Virginia?!

Off the strength of that court testimony no less??!? Oh how good it must feel to be the first Black female engineer at NASA!

There you have it folks. Hidden Figures. One of the finest films I’ve seen in years. Arguably the most empowering movie for young Black girls across the globe.

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  • Ja-Quan is a NYC teacher and artist holding a B.A. in Sociology and History from SUNY New Paltz. On his journey to become Hokage, the Lord of The Speed Force and Protector of the Recaps can be found North of The Wall, chopping it up on Twitter @OGquankinobi

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