Hidden Figures (2016) Film Review

How often do we hear that some of the key players within NASA in the sixties were African American women who were still forced to ride in the back of public buses and use separate bathrooms and drinking fountains to white people? For me, it was never until now. Hidden Figures tells of three women and their rise against the odds. There’s Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) who sees that the department she is unofficially managing (Computers – this being at the very start of machines being called computers, so computers means people who doing the calculations, and in this department, black women)is becoming obsolete just as a huge IBM machine is brought in. As she has a skill for mechanics, she steps in to find a future for herself and her fellow employees. Then there’s  Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) who is assigned to compute with the engineers and is soon identified as having a brain that is capable of far greater work and is encouraged to take a degree in engineering. Finally, Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) who is put to work with the department working out the mathematics for the re-entry of the first manned mission to space. She is battling not only the attitudes of those around her who see her as a threat, but the politics of the time, with the only bathroom she is allowed to use being quite some distance from her desk. Then there is the love interest, Jim Johnson (Mahershala Ali), which I felt was totally unnecessary to the film – in fact, kind of undermined it in a way, because it was as if being extremely intelligent wasn’t enough, you have to have a man too. Still, it’s a great story and a thoroughly enjoyable and funny film.

Hidden Figures was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Octavia Spencer) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi). It was also nominated for Golden Globes for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Octavia Spencer) and Best Original Score – motion Picture and for a BAFTA for Best Screenplay (Adapted ) (Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder).


Big Bang Theory – TV Review


Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are a couple of scientists who work in different fields at the same university and share an apartment. The beautiful but not-so-smart Penny (Kaley Cuoco) has moved in across the hallway and a she and Leonard commence an on-again-off-again love affair. Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and Howard (Simon Helberg) were the two additional members of the group, but since they have been joined by two new love interests, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Amy (Mayim Bialik).

I’ve loved a lot of the comedies of Chuck Lorre. From the early days of My Two Dads, Roseanne and Cybil to Dharma and Greg, he’s made me laugh. Although I can’t say I’m a fan of all of his work – he did produce Two and a Half Men. (Which I tried. I remember Jon Cryer from films in the eighties, but I just couldn’t do it).

Personally, I believe that The Big Bang Theory is the best of all of them. It’s extremely well written, with a science consultant to ensure that the jokes are actually based in fact. And I can’t recall a sitcom character I’ve enjoyed as much as Sheldon. Magnificent. It’s just a shame that it has been treated so poorly by the commercial station that screens it. I could never tell when a new episode was on or whether it was one of the hundred of repeats each week. Thank goodness for box sets and DVD shops.