This is a good solid movie and earned every bit of its 4.5 Icees (out of 5). This is about an event in history and many contributors to it that I was not aware of. This is based on the true story of three African-American ladies who made memorable impacts to the space program in the early 1960’s. I didn’t know that at the time NASA ran out of Langley (as in Langley, Virginia). Now Virginia isn’t exactly known as one of the most progressive states of that era, and that is touched on throughout the film. But the movie does that without clubbing you over the head with it. You get the idea; the injustice; the stupidity that went on during that period, but without it being the primary focus of the film. There was no violence in the film, although it was alluded to in news reports. I think the way the bigotry of the period was done was good.
The performances were spot on. Taraji P. Henson (playing Katherine) received most of the focus, but an appropriate amount of time was also devoted to Octavia Spencer’s character (Dorothy). One thing that I don’t think was done quite as well was the character Mary, played exceptionally by Janelle Monae. I thought the film could have been even better with more scenes of her. The best scenes to me were the ones where the three of them were together.
The bigotry in the movie was a sad but true state of affairs in 1961, so the portrayal here was well-deserved. I almost didn’t recognize Kirsten Dunst, who I thought did a good job playing what I am guessing was an HR supervisor. Kevin Costner was his normal excellent self playing a man that didn’t care about gender or race, but instead was just focused on getting a job done. Jim Parsons on the other hand played a character that was very stereotypical of white males during that period.
What these women had to overcome is an absolute shame and just plain wrong. That’s why this story is important. Plus, you throw in the fact that this is actually a true story about a significant event in American history, well… that just make is all the more vital to see.
If you want to see a good movie about a sad period of history and more specifically the lives of 3 women who changed history at NASA, this is a movie you should see. During the credits, they show pictures of the 3 main characters, but there is nothing after the credits.