Hidden Figures (2016) is good old fashioned Hollywood razzle-dazzle. It takes a little known story, mixes in some smart poetic licence and instantly likeable performers, and turns out a belting piece of mainstream entertainment.
There is no doubt that Hidden Figures is precision engineered to pull at your heart but it is saved from being the same tired worthy film we’ve seen before by focusing on a central trio who overcome adversity with action. From the opening scene onward the film repeatedly makes the argument for equality through sheer utility and every strand tells us that we can reach the stars if we just dump this baggage. This turns it from a film about suffering and the past (and in turn a comfort blanket ensuring us that ‘aren’t we better’) into a positive, activist film that is utterly relevant.