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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Hidden Figures

A popcorn movie with all the right stuff.

Hidden Figures is a crowd-pleaser in the style of those 1990s movies that combined historical moments and personal stories with a light touch that begs you to laugh at comic vignettes, swoon as couples unite and, ultimately, cheer for underdog victories and historical milestones.

It’s a classic production with clearly manipulative storytelling that hits a little too obviously and a little too often. Yeh, it begs the audience to shout “you go girl” every five minutes or something like that, but dang it works anyway. In a season where I’ve been satisfied already with other innovative films, I can overlook a few trite “dancing in the kitchen” scenes and a few overwrought, speeches-as-conversation scenes to enjoy this as a whole.

Hidden Figures keeps its focus on celebrating the three overlooked heroines from NASA history. Its heart is in the right place — and we are rewarded.

Simply put: This is not groundbreaking moviemaking, but the glass-ceiling-busting story and irresistible cast makes this choice a charmer for the whole family.

Award potential: Despite unlikely nods in screenplay and all technical and sound categories, I think Hidden Figures will get a Best Picture Oscar nomination anyway. Janelle Monae has the standout performance that the Academy might recognize, but Octavia Spencer has the experience the Academy usually prefers. Having both of these women in the same Best Supporting Actress category may hurt both their chances. Kevin Costner is a wild card for Best Supporting Actor. 

The Ten Buck Review:
Worth ten bucks.

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