GUYS SO HIDDEN FIGURES WAS SO GREAT
NO WHITE PEOPLE TAKE THE SHINE FROM THE AMAZING BLACK PROTAGONISTS
in fact there’s a whole lot of “here is how people racist” and “here is how to ally without being a smug prick about it”
there is ALSO ALSO ALSO a lot of beautiful black men who are initially douchey but CLEARLY ALSO LOVE THEIR WOMEN AND WANT TO DO BETTER
Taraji P Henson is courted by FINE AS ALL HELL Mahershala Ali *STARS IN EYES* and you know those moments which are like IMAGINE YOUR OTP except THIS IS YOUR OTP YOU DONT HAVE TO IMAGINE IT and her daughters being all into the new man in her life and AAAAAAAAAAAAA IMAGINE YOUR OTP NO WAIT IT’S ALREADY ONSCREEN
buncha white characters have this complete thoughtlessness, this “that’s the way it is” until they are inconvenienced and then that’s how they go out of the way to make things better which is so utterly real, of course that’s how it goes
other buncha white characters who just hate being upstaged and their hostility is shown really subtly, like it’s clear they’re not even AWARE of how fucking racist they are
then there’s that John Glenn astronaut guy who’s like a complete ALL AMERICAN WHITE BREAD BOY and he has this looks-natural-is-it-really way of being an ally that’s just completely innocuous except it’s exceptional like yes good that’s a really awesome way of alleviating the AWKWARD in the room
Janelle Monae as the plucky wannabe-engineer
Octavia Spencer as the long-suffering but determined to help not just herself but EVERYONE in her department of human computers by getting ahead of the game learning computers
IT’S ALL AMAZING IT’S GREAT I WANNA TALK ABOUT IT AND I CANT WAIT TO SEE ALL THE DISCOURSE ON IT
I LOVED this movie. It was so well crafted and absolutely pulled me in. There were so many stories going on at once but they were all given time? I knew going in I’d love Katherine (Taraji P. Henson) and Dorothy (Octavia Spencer) but I didn’t realize I’d adore Mary (Janelle Monáe) as much as I did. And my followers know how much I adore f/f but all the m/f relationships were so lovely?
There was so much time devoted to so many things. Katherine, Katherine and Jim Johnson, Katherine’s cute ass family, Katherine’s friendship with Mary and Dorothy, Mary’s husband, Mary’s role in her group, Mary’s camaraderie with her team, Mary’s fight to be able to take classes, Dorothy not being afraid to stand up for herself, Dorothy being ambitious, Dorothy’s “I’m sure you believe that”, Dorothy not leaving her women behind, Dorothy getting the jump on learning programming.
And everything else, god, there were a lot of white people. They were always going to be the center of a story to space, there were just crucial parts that Black women would not be part of, but even then, the trio’s points of view were always shown.
There were some unexpectedly emotional moments, like seeing Black people invested in the space race despite how they were treated by their country. Despite how blunt the movie was about how tough things were, it was a story about the women overcoming their many obstacles and being awesome as heck. The movie was able to blend moments where they were just being themselves among their families and friends and then how it’d change, sometimes sexism, sometimes racism, sometimes both.
I watched in a theater with a mostly white audience and I could feel when everyone was sucked into the lighter moments when it was just the trio, or Katherine and her kids, or the romance with Jim, or the tenser moments with Glenn, but you could just sense the men drawing back when something sexist happened and white people pulling away when something racist happened. Not when the little victories happened, of course, because then it was a feel-good moment and they could act as if they were part of that and they’d have been aware and good allies if they lived then and now there’s no need. But I think by the end everyone was fully invested in their stories, and I think a lot of the ubiquitous awfulness still got through. But it was just a great movie and story on its own, making so many things, not just racism or sexism or history but bureaucracy and the space race and MATH accessible to us.
And I loved how awesome all three of the ladies were, there was no head, heart, hand separation, where each is reduced to just one trait, they were all amazing.
Katherine was so different from Cookie or Carter so I’m sad TPH’s been shut out of awards, she was the center of it, as great as everyone else was. I did read about how in real life Katherine Johnson did not make that half-mile journey to the colored bathroom every day, so finding out such a major part was faked was a bit disappointing. I understand this was not meant to be a documentary but represent many other women’s experiences, and I get that it shows their struggles and I get that the director wanted to show that it was up to other people (white men) to make changes, but it did place a big moment on the white dude. Still, it didn’t near ruin the movie for me, especially as it showed that even “good” white people were so unconsciously racist all the time. It was a way of life, the established order of things.