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  #51  
Old 01-11-2017, 03:36 PM
Richard John Marcej Richard John Marcej is online now
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Originally Posted by Infovore View Post

I feel like I'm getting old, since I remember Kirsten Dunst as a teenager, not as a full-grown woman in a position of authority.
Or as Claudia, the little girl vampire in Interview with the Vampire when she was only 11.
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  #52  
Old 01-11-2017, 05:19 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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To me, Kirsten Dunst is Mary Jane, from Spider-Man.
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  #53  
Old 01-11-2017, 05:59 PM
ftg ftg is offline
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BTW, once the dust settled Hidden Figures ended up coming out ahead of Rogue One for the box office weekend.

This is far better than most projections. Quite a feat. It also has an A+ CinemaScore.

This one is going to do quite well money-wise which will help its Oscar profile.

Looking forward to seeing it.
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  #54  
Old 01-13-2017, 02:02 PM
Dangerosa Dangerosa is offline
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Originally Posted by ftg View Post
BTW, once the dust settled Hidden Figures ended up coming out ahead of Rogue One for the box office weekend.

This is far better than most projections. Quite a feat. It also has an A+ CinemaScore.

This one is going to do quite well money-wise which will help its Oscar profile.

Looking forward to seeing it.
It will get a nod or two, but I'd be disappointed if it won anything. It was a good movie with decent performances. It was uplifting. It wasn't terribly well directed. The acting was good, but the roles lacked meat. Disney made it, and it shows.
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  #55  
Old 01-17-2017, 07:57 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is offline
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Saw it with my wife this weekend, and we loved it. I was surprised to learn that the scene with Glenn insisting that Katherine personally check the numbers for his trajectory before launch was not Hollywood-ized, but actually happened almost exactly as portrayed on screen.
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  #56  
Old 01-22-2017, 04:54 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is online now
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Saw it today. Inspiring. I heard a young girl shout as we were exiting, "I want to see that movie a thousand times!"

When Katherine entered the Pentagon meeting, I noticed she was wearing what I'd call "statement" earrings and a lovely brooch. So much for "you can only wear a simple strand of pearls"!

And I knew "Miss Mitchell" was going to call her "Mrs. Vaughan" by the end of the movie.

Last edited by Dendarii Dame; 01-22-2017 at 04:55 PM..
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  #57  
Old 01-29-2017, 09:02 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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We finally got to see this last night.

Mostly a very good and well acted movie. The three main leads were especially well cast.

It's a good reminder that too much of the racism and sexism of that era still exists and is getting stronger.

The big problem with the movie is the historical inaccuracies keep piling up and up. Too many liberties were taken to put people together for key scenes.

Also they screwed up the Math too often.
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  #58  
Old 01-29-2017, 12:37 PM
Quartz Quartz is online now
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I'm looking forward to this film being released over here.
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  #59  
Old 01-30-2017, 04:33 AM
bienville bienville is offline
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I really liked it. Most of what I'd say has already been said except that I really think Taraji P Henson should have gotten an Oscar nomination and I'm disappointed that that didn't happen.
The film got other nominations, so it's not like Academy members didn't see the film.

I'd put her in the Best Actress category without hesitating to substitute her for Ruth Negga (excellent performance in a not too demanding role), Meryl Streep (excellent performance but, c'mon, she's Meryl fucking Streep, she can basically phone this shit in without breaking a sweat such that it's just not interesting anymore), or Natalie Portman (a talented actor who spent this whole movie struggling to maintain her accent and so never got around to bringing her A game for the actual acting).


The only other thing that struck me about the film that hasn't really been mentioned,
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Originally Posted by Infovore View Post
I feel like I'm getting old, since I remember Kirsten Dunst as a teenager, not as a full-grown woman in a position of authority.
Dunst is 34. I think she easily comes across as 36 or 37 in the film.
With Hollywood make-up and lighting, she could easily play 26 or 27. Taking full advantage of movie magic to play younger is the route most professional actresses would generally choose. And that's not an accusation of vanity. There's very real reason for an actress to worry about her career once she's seen as "older". Once you're seen as too old to play a 20-something lead, you'll almost disappear until you are old enough to play "mother" roles for the young adult lead characters.

So, I was pretty impressed with Dunst as an actor to agree to take this role and to not insist on make-up choices that would not have been true to the character.

I didn't even recognize her at first. It took until her third scene, or so, for me to have an "Ah-HA!" moment.
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  #60  
Old 02-12-2017, 10:21 AM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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I saw it yesterday and loved it. The thing that got me was not the blatant racism (no n-word, thank Og) but the casual racism. Like no one even considered that Katherine would have to run across campus to use the restroom because there was no restroom for "her" in the building. She didn't question it, no one else questioned it, until the meltdown in the room as to why she was away from her desk so much.

I'd like to know more about Harrison. He saw the big picture that brains and aptitude were more important than gender or color. If you knew your stuff and were willing to stay late and do the work, then he didn't care where you peed.

I've reserved the book through Overdrive. Excellent film. So glad to see she's had a building named after her and is still alive!

And damn you, Ron Howard. You couldn't include Katherine in Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks?

Last edited by ivylass; 02-12-2017 at 10:23 AM..
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  #61  
Old 02-12-2017, 11:28 AM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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ivylass, you might want to read look at this website, which I've already linked to once:

http://www.historyvshollywood.com/re...idden-figures/

The character of Al Harrison (played by Kevin Costner) wasn't a single real person. This composite character was based on three different people. Also, the segregation in the restrooms and the offices where people worked went away during the 1940's and 1950's, not during the 1960's. The film mushed together events from a couple of decades. Hidden Figures is a good movie for showing you the general idea of what went on, but the details of the film aren't remotely correct.
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  #62  
Old 02-12-2017, 02:53 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
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Yep, I read it, then realized I was too late to edit. I appreciate the link...lots of insight there. According to that link, Katherine didn't encounter any racism at work and used whatever restroom she needed to.
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  #63  
Old 02-17-2017, 07:58 PM
commasense commasense is offline
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I saw the movie a few weeks ago, and was curious enough about the story to get the book. What struck me was that virtually none of the incidents depicted in the film are found in the book. Thanks to the History vs. Hollywood link above, I now know why: the book had not been finished when the script was written. The film was based on a 55-page treatment that author Margot Lee Shetterly had submitted to the publisher. Shooting was already under way when the book was released.

From my (increasingly unreliable) memory, here are a few things that the movie either invented or took from sources other than Shetterly's book:
  • The opening incident of the women being stopped by a cop on their way to Langley.
  • The three women being particularly close friends and regularly commuting together.
  • The whole business about Katherine having to run to another building to use the colored bathroom. By the mid-1950s, there were no colored bathrooms at Langley.
  • Therefore Kevin Costner's character (a fictional composite) never tore down a "colored" sign.
  • Mary Jackson had to get special permission to take night engineering classes in the white high school, but the book says nothing about her going to court and persuading a racist judge with her powerful rhetoric.
  • Katherine did calculate the re-entry formulas for Glenn's mission to check them against the IBM's results, but there was no last minute discrepancy and he didn't refuse to get into the capsule until she okayed them. The book doesn't even say that he specifically asked for her to check them, although other sources apparently do.
  • Dorothy Vaughan was one of the first women, black or otherwise, to learn FORTRAN and to learn to use the early IBM computers, but she didn't do it by slipping into the computer room at night and reading the manuals, thereby stumping the dumb guys who had installed it. Particularly egregious (IMHO) is the scene in which she grabs a meter probe, clips it to the one right wire in a rat's nest of wires to get the thing to work right, and says something like, "It helps that my daddy was an electrical engineer." Complete balderdash.
And that's just a few things I can recall off the top of my head. Of course, not all of them are particularly important.

This is not a historical anachronism or fictionalized incident, but the most ludicrous scene for me was the one in which Jim Parsons' engineer character explains how Glenn's capsule, unlike the previous sub-orbital missions, is going to orbit the earth. He uses the standard, "it's falling, but the earth is also curving away under it, so it keeps on going" explanation that is typically given to grade-schoolers. But he's talking to a roomful of NASA engineers! Okay, I get that the audience needs to have a basic understanding of what's happening, but couldn't he, or Katherine, have been shown explaining it too some kids or civilians instead? The idea that these engineers would need this dumbed-down pap completely took me out of the story.

So I'm somewhat torn about the movie. Not knowing anything about these women, I was as impressed and moved by the film as many others. The story of these women, and hundreds of others who worked with them, is incredible and has been hidden far too long. It is an important part of U.S. history that should be told.

But the film has made up so much of it from whole cloth that one has to be concerned that too many people will take every fictional detail as gospel. This is always the problem when Hollywood makes movies based on "true stories," but after reading the book I was really troubled by how little correspondence there was between the "true story" as presented there and the film.

Now, since they didn't have the finished book to work with, they have some excuse. And it makes sense, to a certain extent, to present dramatized accounts of the kind of prejudice and discrimination that all blacks experienced at that time, even successful, well-educated professionals.

Even if they had had the finished book, it is a work of history that covers much more than the primary three characters, and is not presented with the flowing narrative of a novel or screenplay. So some liberties would have been expected.

But after reading the book, I felt I had been deceived and manipulated by the film. It just went too far in overdramatizing the story, IMHO.

One final note. I am a writer and copy editor by profession. I have edited non-fiction writing from dozens of writers, and have, like most of us here, also read quite widely. Rarely have I read prose as well-written as Margot Lee Shetterly's. Barely a page or two into the introduction, I was saying to myself, 'This is an amazing writer!"

I think most of us here understand the challenges of combining clarity, style, elegance, and accuracy in our writing, and Shetterly's work has a grace and originality that is strikingly beautiful. Her expressions often verge on poetry, but always in service of the narrative, without being flashy, distracting, or self-indulgent. I frequently thought about some turn of phrase, "I've never thought of it that way, or heard anyone else put it like that."

Her research also appears to have been extremely thorough. She worked for five years on it, interviewing hundreds of people. In the Kindle edition, the epilogue ends at 66%. The remaining one-third is notes.

And this is her first book! Needless to say, I highly recommend it. The film is good. The book is excellent.
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  #64  
Old 02-18-2017, 10:22 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Saw this last night. A good story that needed to be told, as it was likely never taught in American schools. Solid acting, as well.

As always, I have problems with anachronisms and sloppy prop department work. Using cars that weren't made yet, and using the same vehicles in every scene was one thing, but I can get past that.

One of the first scenes in the film shows a very young Katherine doing mental math in her school class, with the teacher using a pocket calculator to check her. This would have had to have been in the 1940s, as the film takes place in 1961 when she is an adult with three children. Pocket calculators didn't exist for the public until the 1970s.

Every scene in the 1957 Chevy that shows them driving has the car shift lever clearly in 'park', while we see moving scenery through the back window.

The worst one, though, is when Al calls for Katherine to check the IBM math for the reentry data. He runs over to the West building (which is at Langley, VA), she does the calcs, and they both run back to give them to Al at Mission Control (which is in Florida). That's one hell of a run.

But despite all the prop and continuity errors, it was an entertaining effort.

Last edited by Chefguy; 02-18-2017 at 10:22 AM..
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  #65  
Old 02-18-2017, 11:04 AM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post

One of the first scenes in the film shows a very young Katherine doing mental math in her school class, with the teacher using a pocket calculator to check her. This would have had to have been in the 1940s, as the film takes place in 1961 when she is an adult with three children. Pocket calculators didn't exist for the public until the 1970s.
The version I saw has the opening scene taking place in 1926, with Katherine walking along counting out the numbers, noting the primes. The next scene is her naming all the shapes on the stained glass window. The only classroom scene is Katherine solving the equation on the blackboard. It then jumps to 1961.

You're not the only one to have noted the anachronistic calculator, so there must be different edits out there.
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  #66  
Old 02-18-2017, 11:19 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Was it an electronic pocket calculator? Because mechanical pocket calculators have been around for a lot longer. Although they were probably out of the price range of a high school teacher, especially at a black school.
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  #67  
Old 02-18-2017, 12:47 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Baron Greenback View Post
The version I saw has the opening scene taking place in 1926, with Katherine walking along counting out the numbers, noting the primes. The next scene is her naming all the shapes on the stained glass window. The only classroom scene is Katherine solving the equation on the blackboard. It then jumps to 1961.

You're not the only one to have noted the anachronistic calculator, so there must be different edits out there.
It wasn't the opening scene. I said it was one of the first scenes.

Sure looked like an electronic calculator; very slim. I liked that they came up with an actual functioning Monroe electro-mechanical calculator. I used one of those at a summer job in 1967. Long carriage with mechanical wheels that spun into place as the calculations were made. Weighed about as much as a Buick.

Last edited by Chefguy; 02-18-2017 at 12:49 PM..
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  #68  
Old 02-18-2017, 02:03 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is offline
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The Goofs webpage in the IMDb (linked below) lists a lot of anachronisms in the movie. Most of them are the sort that you're unlikely to notice if you're not an expert. For instance, there are a lot of cases where there was a car in a scene which wasn't available until a couple of years later. If there really is a case where they showed a pocket calculator in a scene set in 1926, that's an enormous mistake. They weren't available until 50 years later. Did they really show a pocket calculator? How could they make a mistake that huge? Surely any adult knows that there weren't even enormous computers that could do calculations as fast as a pocket calculator does today. Is it possible you misunderstood what was going on in the scene? Were they doing calculations on a pad of paper or on an abacus that you couldn't see well?:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/...ref_=tt_trv_gf
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  #69  
Old 02-18-2017, 03:10 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
The Goofs webpage in the IMDb (linked below) lists a lot of anachronisms in the movie. Most of them are the sort that you're unlikely to notice if you're not an expert. For instance, there are a lot of cases where there was a car in a scene which wasn't available until a couple of years later. If there really is a case where they showed a pocket calculator in a scene set in 1926, that's an enormous mistake. They weren't available until 50 years later. Did they really show a pocket calculator? How could they make a mistake that huge? Surely any adult knows that there weren't even enormous computers that could do calculations as fast as a pocket calculator does today. Is it possible you misunderstood what was going on in the scene? Were they doing calculations on a pad of paper or on an abacus that you couldn't see well?:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4846340/...ref_=tt_trv_gf
The teacher was pretty clearly holding a calculator and looking astonished that the child had gotten the correct answer. I can't find any clips of that scene, so can't be 100% sure. Perhaps the visual led my modern brain to a wrong conclusion, but I don't know what else she could have been holding. Until the movie comes out for free, I'll just have to wait.

Last edited by Chefguy; 02-18-2017 at 03:11 PM..
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  #70  
Old 02-18-2017, 03:26 PM
Baron Greenback Baron Greenback is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
The teacher was pretty clearly holding a calculator and looking astonished that the child had gotten the correct answer. I can't find any clips of that scene, so can't be 100% sure. Perhaps the visual led my modern brain to a wrong conclusion, but I don't know what else she could have been holding. Until the movie comes out for free, I'll just have to wait.
The magical internet fairies just delivered a copy of the screener sent out to Academy voters. There's no scene in the sepia-tinted young Katherine segment that matches your description. Like I said, there's probably different edits out there.
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  #71  
Old 02-19-2017, 11:06 PM
Equipoise Equipoise is offline
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Did you folks have the trailer to GIFTED before your screening? It's about a little blond girl being raised by her uncle after his sister, the girl's mother, dies. In that trailer the girl is sent to public school and the teacher asks some simple math question, which the girl snarkingly answers. To put the girl in her place the teacher asks a far more difficult math question, which the girl answers correctly, and the teacher checks via a calculator.

https://youtu.be/tI01wBXGHUs

Last edited by Equipoise; 02-19-2017 at 11:09 PM..
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  #72  
Old 02-20-2017, 03:54 AM
bienville bienville is offline
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Did you folks have the trailer to GIFTED before your screening?
Beaten to the punch!
I was reading the calculator discussion, and I was all ready to jump in and suggest they may have seen this trailer before the screening. To make matters more confusing, Octavia Spencer is in both movies! (Although, Spencer does not appear in the calculator scene, that role is played by Mona-Lisa Saperstein, Jean-Ralphio's sister).
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  #73  
Old 02-20-2017, 02:21 PM
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I liked it after making allowances for the usual Hollywood heavy-handedness in historical films about race and gender and the equally cringe-inducing Hollywood conventions on science films. However the main characters rang true and overall in the oppressed minority/mathematics sub-genre I would rate it well above the Imitation Game and perhaps on par with the Ramanujan film.

I do wish filmmakers would handle such films with a defter touch though. For example instead of the silly bathroom sub-plot they should have gone with what actually happened:
Quote:
As for Katherine Johnson herself, Shetterly writes that when Katherine started working there, she didn't even realize that the bathrooms at Langley were segregated. This is because the bathrooms for white employees were unmarked and there weren't many colored bathrooms to be seen. It took a couple years before she was confronted with her mistake, but she simply ignored the comment and continued to use the white restrooms. No one brought it up again and she refused to enter the colored bathrooms.
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