Hidden Figures is a great example of a fascinating story told in an uninspired way. The title of the film hints at how important the true-life subject matter is. It tells the tale of people who made critical contributions to the success of a defining moment in human history, but who went unrecognized because of their second-class status. They are finally getting the credit they deserve, but it’s a shame that the style doesn’t do the content justice. The movie indulges in every biopic cliché imaginable. The way it handles race issues of the early 1960s is similarly flawed. Missing are the nuanced shades of gray that made a movie like Selma so rich. Instead, Hidden Figures focuses on easy crowd pleasing moments that are cathartic, to be sure, but that lack the subtle nuance that would make them emotionally complex and satisfying. It’s A Beautiful Mind meets The Help, with all the problems of both.
Viewing entries tagged
There is an idea in progressive politics and critical theory known as intersectionality. Simply put, intersectional theory supposes that we are all made up of multiple overlapping social identities. In order to understand the complexities of human behavior, and the varying levels of discrimination in our society, each social identity must be understood as being inextricably linked with the others. That’s why an LGBT woman of color can face more oppressive obstacles than an LGBT man who is white. If that feels overly clinical and cold, art holds the key to humanizing such ideas. Moonlight, the story of one man told over 20 years, explores these notions in emotionally exquisite and sublimely human ways.