I did see this opening weekend, but I’ve been so caught up with preparing for Coastal Magic Con that, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and really process what this movie is about. Story wise, this is one of the most perfect movies I’ve seen in a long time. Everything fit just right. It’s both inspiring and demoralizing at the same time. It’s about Math and Space, but it’s also about Privilege and what women of color had to endure to get white men into space. You don’t walk away from this movie without thinking of Katherine Johnson calculating all of those launching and landing, but also having to run a half mile just to get to the “colored” bathroom in the rain. The math alone made me dizzy with pride watching her show all those men how to get the math done to get John Glenn into space. John Glenn even says flat out, he won’t fly until “the girl” confirms the mechanical computer’s calculations. The same computer no one could get to work properly until Dorothy Vaughn showed them how. Heck, the men couldn’t even get the computer through the door because no one bothered to measure IBM’s machine.
It took me a little while to figure out what it was that bothered me about this movie, though. It’s a small thing, almost not noticeable until Kevin Costner sticks a piece of gum in his mouth. In Virginia, 1961, most folks, especially the men, would have been smoking and ash trays would have have littered that office. Heck, there would have ash trays right next to the coffee pots Katherine Johnson wasn’t allowed to use.
Beyond that, I do wish that this movie had been nominated for more Academy Awards. It’s a crime that only Octavia Spencer got a supporting actress nomination, when all three leads should have been nominated for Best Actress. Hidden Figures should win all of the awards.