Friday 27th October
USA | 2017 | 127 mins | Cert PG
As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers", we follow these women as they quickly rose through the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and guaranteeing his safe return. Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson crossed all gender, race, and professional lines with their brilliance and desire to dream big.
Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe are Katherine Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, a trio of Nasa scientists who each played their part in sending astronaut John Glenn (the first American to orbit the Earth) into space in 1962. These three are fun, fast-talking and fabulously coiffed (thanks to costume designer Renee Ehrlich Kalfus). They’re also African American women, which perhaps explains why this nugget of history has remained untold until now. Sure, some of it feels a little obvious, but with its “based on a true story” title card, cartoon palette and bouncy Pharrell (co)-penned soundtrack, this splashy, feel good period piece is every bit as enjoyable as a best picture Oscar-nominated blockbuster could hope to be. Guardian Feb 2017