Without three gifted mathematicians, America might not have put its first man into space in 1961. That they were also female and black in a country where racial segregation still had a sour normalcy only adds piquancy to the story.
The trio are plucked from numeric drudgery by a NASA systems boss to help meet a timetable accelerated by presidential decree. As if things weren’t already challenging enough, the women also face the routine prejudice of their work colleagues.
Hidden Figures deftly avoids clichéd melodrama to celebrate amazing achievements in a society in the throes of change.
DIRECTOR Ted Melfi
STARS Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe
SCREENPLAY Allison Schroeder