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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Hidden Figures (12/25/2016)


Rated PG for thematic elements and some language.

Starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and Jim Parsons

Directed by Theodore Melfi (St. Vincent)


Todd's Rating: Theatre Worthy

Dynamic ImageA true story that most of us have never heard before.

Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA in the 1960’s. They served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The visionary trio crossed all gender and race lines to inspire generations to dream big.

When it comes to historical movies about math or science geniuses, most of us struggle to stay engaged or even awake. If you’ve seen A Beautiful Mind, The Theory of Everything or The Imitation Game, you know what I’m talking about.

Thankfully, Hidden Figures is not that kind of film. While it is a wonderful story about three brilliant women—Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan, it’s also a story of struggle and determination.

From the start, Hidden Figures makes it clear that this is a story about three women, not a lone heroine. Katherine may get the most screen time, but her story is closely connected to Mary and Dorothy’s stories as well. And the three actresses are very impressive. I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Taraji P. Henson…thanks to the TV show “Empire” (please no hate mail), but I have to say she was very moving and very entertaining in this film.

Rounding out the cast are Kevin Costner and Jim Parsons. They are both fantastic and provide a good balance act.

The storylines of racism and sexism make Hidden Figures a sobering reminder of an ugly past…especially with the coffee pot scene. Thankfully the script has some light-hearted moments and more than a few laughs.

Hidden Figures manages to be more than an inspiring history lesson with wonderful performances. It is “Theater Worthy” for sure.


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
No nudity or sexual content other than light dialogue and some kissing. There are several utterances of swear words in the film, such as "damn" and "bastard."

The film features many "of the period" attitudes, including racism and discrimination towards African-Americans, which may be a bit shocking to younger viewers.


CONVERSATION STARTER:
  1. Describe how you felt seeing how Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan were mistreated?

  2. Have you ever seen someone being mistreated? Why were they mistreated?

  3. Read Galatians 3:28

      There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

  4. How does this verse help us see others in a positive way?

  5. What can you do this week to treat others well regardless of their race, gender or beliefs?




Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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