The most fun maths has been since Johnny Ball.
Out 19 june Digital HD 3 july DVD, BD, 4K Ultra Extras Commentary, Making Of, Featurette, Gallery
Welcome to 1961. With Russia inching ahead in the space race, NASA is desperate to put a man into orbit. Helping the mission off the ground are African-American maths mavens Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), whose colour and gender see them wrestling with bigotry no less than big numbers…
A crowd-pleaser par excellence, Theodore Melfi’s box-office smash (and awards botherer) handles its historical drama with a light touch. Which cuts both ways. It’s too workmanlike to offer surprises, its emotional, comedic and musical beats (retro soundtrack from producer Pharrell) playing in predictable rotation. But it’s also rarely worthy or bogged down in head-hurty maths.
Rocket-boosted by the leads’ easy charisma, it unashamedly aims for uplift, without monologuing it into the
ground. And it gratifies to see the big white names (scratchy-but-decent bossman Kevin Costner; complacent supervisor Kirsten Dunst; Jim Parsons basically playing a more dickish Sheldon) playing second fiddle in a major mainstreamer.
Extras miss a trick by not regrouping the ladies for the chat-track (it’s a Melfi/Henson two-hander); elsewhere the director explains how he chose Figures over a gig called… Spider-Man: Homecoming. Matthew Leyland
Taraji P. Henson decides it’s time to try the Magic Eye approach…