2016 #5 – Hidden Figures (dir. Theordore Melfi)

“Every time we get a chance to get ahead they move the finish line. Every time.” Janelle Monaé as Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures.

Hidden Figures (2016)
Director:
Theodore Melfi
Starring: tarajiphensonoctaviaspencerjanellemonaekevincostnerkirstendunstjimparsonsglenpowellmahershalaalialdishodge
Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monaé, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge
Written By: Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
Running Time: 127 minutes (2 hours, 7 minutes)
Genre(s): Biographical, Drama, History

(As an aside, WordPress thought it would be a fantastic idea to delete everything I wrote once I was finished. So I’m trying to rewrite everything from memory. Annoying.)

In 1962, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in what became a landmark moment for the U.S. in the Space Race against the Soviet Union. The 1960s were a pivotal era for space advancements and travel. Most people know about this though. What a lot of people don’t know are the stories of three African-American women who helped provide the numbers needed to make NASA’s advancements possible. Hidden Figures tells the stories of these women – Katherine Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson – who all played important roles in NASA’s history.

Hidden Figures is an important movie for many reasons. A while back Taraji P. Henson said that she has been told her entire career that “black women can’t open films domestically or internationally.” Not only is this movie extremely relevant in today’s political and societal climate, but it should be taken as proof to all of the Hollywood naysayers out there who believe that people of color, and more specifically, women of color, cannot bring people to fill in those theaters seats. Because yes they can and yes they will.

Is Hidden Figures the perfect film? Personally, I think it is a little formulaic at times and it is just a little bit too long. However, it is entertaining, heartfelt, inspirational and filled to the brim with well-acted performances. The trio of Henson, Spencer and Monaé are just great. Henson carries the emotional weight of the film on her shoulders, Spencer brings a lot of pathos to a role that could have disappeared in the hands of a lesser actor and Monaé gives the definition of a scene stealing performance (seriously, with this and Moonlight, could Monaé have had a better film debut? What a year for her).

The production values are all great too with fantastic music, costumes and production design. Ultimately Hidden Figures is a good film with a great cast and crew behind it. It definitely makes for a wonderful movie-going experience. 4/5.


2016 Personal Ballot (updates are in bold)

Best Picture
1.
Hell or High Water
2.
Sing Street
3.
Loving
4. Hidden Figures
5.

Best Director
1.
David Mackenzie – Hell or High Water
2.
John Carney – Sing Street
3.
Jeff Nichols – Loving
4.
5.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
1. Joel Edgerton – Loving
2. Chris Pine – Hell or High Water
3. Ferdia Walsh-Peelo – Sing Street
4.
5.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
1. Ruth Negga – Loving
2. Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures
3.
4.
5.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
1. Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
2. Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
3. Jack Reynor – Sing Street
4.
5.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
1. Janelle Monaé – Hidden Figures
2. Lucy Boynton – Sing Street
3. Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
4.
5.

Best Original Screenplay
1. Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
2. Sing Street – Simon Carmody, John Carney
3.
4.
5.

Best Adapted Screenplay
1. Loving – Jeff Nichols
2. Hidden Figures – Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
3.
4.
5.

Best Film Ensemble
1. Hell or High Water – Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Gil Birmingham, Marin Ireland, Katy Mixon, Dale Dickey, Kevin Rankin, Katy Mixon, Margaret Bowman
2. Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monaé, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Glen Powell, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge
3. Sing Street – Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Jack Reynor, Aidan Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Kelly Thornton, Don Wycherley, Ben Carolan, Mark McKenna, Percy Chamburuka, Conor Hamilton, Karl Rice, Ian Kenny
4.
5.

Best Original Score
1. Loving – David Wingo
2. Hell or High Water – Nick Cave, Warren Ellis
3. Hidden Figures – Benjamin Wallfisch, Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer
4.
5.

Best Original Song
1.
Sing Street – “Drive It Like You Stole It” by Gary Clark
2. Sing Street – “To Find You” by Gary Clark
3.
Sing Street – “Up” by John Carney, Gary Clark, Graham Henderson, Carl Papenfus, Ken Papenfus, Zamo Riffman
4. Hidden Figures – “Runnin'” by Pharrell Williams
5. Hidden Figures – “I See a Victory” by Kirk Franklin, Pharrell Williams

Best Production Design
1. Passengers – Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena
2. Hidden Figures – Missy Parker, Wynn Thomas
3. Sing Street – Tamara Conboy, Alan MacDonald
4.
5.

Best Cinematography
1. Hell or High Water – Giles Nuttgens
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
1. Sing Street – Barbara Conway, Sandra Kelly
2.
3.
4.
5.

Best Costume Design
1. Sing Street – Tiziana Corvisieri
2. Hidden Figures – Renée Ehrlich Kalfus
3. Loving – Erin Benach
4.
5.

Best Film Editing
1. Hell or High Water – Jake Roberts
2. Sing Street – Andrew Marcus, Julian Ulrichs
3.
4.
5.

Best Visual Effects
1. Passengers – Pete Dionne, Sebastien Gourdal, Erik Nordby
2.
Hell or High Water – Jeremy Cox, Scott Hastings, Daniel Holt, Michael Prawitz
3.
4.
5.


2016 Ranked (updates are in bold)

1. Hell or High Water (dir. David Mackenzie)
2.
Sing Street (dir. John Carney)
3.
Loving (dir. Jeff Nichols)
4. Hidden Figures (dir. Theodore Melfi)
5. Passengers (dir. Morten Tyldum)

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