By: Fiona Schneider
My favorite book-to-movie adaptation of 2017 is Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, hands down. No competition whatsoever. To iterate how passionate I am about this movie, when I first saw the trailer for it in theaters before watching Captain America: Civil War the year before, I actually cried. Now I didn’t sob or anything, but it was so emotionally impactful and I was simply so excited that I started to tear up right there in the movie theater. My love of the film has only grown since.
I avidly kept track of new trailers and press releases for no other reason than to read the release date again and again. While I did know a bit about the real life events behind Hidden Figures, I didn’t know that the film was based on a book until seeing the ending credits of the trailer that display the whole “based on this book” spiel. Of course, I bought the book. Hidden Figures is the ONLY book I own where I purposely bought the movie cover because I love it so much.
I don’t even know if I have enough words to explain why this movie is so spectacular. To give a few details for those who may not know about the plot, Hidden Figures focuses on the brilliant black women who helped calculate and solve issues for NASA in order to put a man on the moon. Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson are the characters the film focuses most on. The film delves highly into racial and gender issues that occur in society, and especially in the workforce. Besides how moving the film is, it is simply an important cultural film that displays some of the diversity in the United States’ history, which many people often overlook or are made to believe never happened. Hollywood is notorious for white-washing their casts and rewriting historical films to display the kind of message they prefer, and while it is important to remember that the film is fictional, Hidden Figures definitely shines some light on real American history and brings interest to its great complexity. I can’t say the movie is accurate to the book all the way down to the dialogue, but I don’t think any film adaptation ever will be. The core messages and plot line, however, do correlate with the book’s and make for a spectacular experience.
With all that said, if you haven’t watched the movie, I hope you will now (and check out the book, too). I will forever recommend it to anyone in need of a good film to watch.