Directed by: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae and Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner has stated he was very disappointed when he read this script. He was disappointed that he and all Americans did not know this story already. He felt that this story, along with so many others in our history, needed to be told a long time ago. I for one, agree.
Based on true events this film is about three black women who work for NASA in 1961. Set in Virginia, a still segregated state, these women fight for more than just equality but they’re fighting to make an actual difference. Each of them is very smart and have a lot to offer the NASA program. But racial past precedence is holding them and NASA behind. Space Task Force director Al Harrison, played by Kevin Costner, is the first to truly integrate into NASA that he needs people for their minds – not their gender or race. This paves the way for these women to be a part of the NASA program that helps John Glenn become the first man to orbit the earth.
This movie can get into your heart and soul if you let it. The reminder of the racial inequities of that time will sadden you and even anger you to a degree. The story of how these women never stood down, how they kept pushing forward, how they refused to say no against the odds stacked against them will encourage you.
The acting is well done. Costner is a constant presence while the emotions from Henson, Spencer and Monae drive the spirit of the film. Easily you will find yourself rooting for each of their characters. The music and set design reflect 1961 really well.
I enjoyed this film a bunch. There was no glaring weakness, just an entertaining uplifting story of our American lore. Yes, I am biased due to my love of the space program. But even so I was entrenched into this “behind the scenes” story of putting a man into space. I recommend checking out this film.