I’m a born and bred space nerd, so any movie that tells me a story I don’t already know about NASA’s golden age already has me at hello. Hidden Figures wasn’t as good a film as it was hyped to be, but that doesn’t mean it still wasn’t a great story told exceptionally well with a fantastic ensemble. It’s a both sad and practical problem that there have been so many films about discrimination that it’s sometimes hard to hammer home the vicious indignity of it without borrowing from previous efforts.
What Hidden Figures did so well was to take an everyday reality for every person on the planet-using the restroom-and make it the film’s most poignant moment of the maddening unfairness of segregation. Kevin Costner and Taraji Henson both give fantastic performances in this film, and Henson’s quiet character finally losing her mind over the ridiculousness of having to run 30 minutes to find a “colored restroom” is a wonderfully written and performed monologue. Costner’s response has a lot fewer words in it, but then he got to do his talking with a crowbar.