I recently saw two great movies with amazingly strong women in the lead roles. However, the movies were very different in tone, style, and obviously, one is fiction and the other is not. Here’s my favorite pick, and why.
Hidden Figures (2017)
Hidden Figures is the true story of three brilliant women who worked for NASA in the early years, and helped behind the scenes with one of history’s greatest achievements: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, and his successful return to Earth. This biographical drama film is based on the non-fiction book by Margot Lee Shetterly, about black female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race.
The actresses, Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe, did an excellent job portraying these amazing real-life heros. These women helped turn the Space Race around and restore our nation’s confidence at a critical time. They were not given the praise and recognition they deserved. I’m so glad this movie finally got made, to show what these brave and bold women did with the talent and gifts God had given them. In a time when segregation was very much the norm, they rose above it to make important – and overlooked – contributions at a huge moment in American history.
I’d give this movie 5 stars, for the fine acting, the witty and intelligent script, and the inspiration of this story for women everywhere around the world. It made me stand up and cheer (with a box of tissues in my hand). Come on ladies! We can do great things, too!
Wonder Woman (2017)
Although I have never read the DC comic book story of Diana, princess of the Amazons (aka: Wonder Woman), I was still curious to see if Marvel would get it right with a female super hero in the lead. I think they did a pretty good job with this one.
Gal Gadot is perfectly cast as the beautiful, strong immortal warrior, trained to conquor anything, yet still portraying a compassionate loving heart toward people. However, I was put-off by how “sheltered” she was on the island, and how naive she sounded when she entered the real world for the first time. It seemed like they wanted her child-like faith and innocence to be seen as humorous and a good balance to her strength, but I felt it just made her look foolish out on the battlefield among the men. It didn’t make me respect her.
I mean, seriously, running toward the enemy lines deflecting bullets, wearing THAT?? Wouldn’t the men just drop their guns and their jaws at the mere site of her? I realize to sell movies, you’ve got to have a beautiful lead character. But real-life women shouldn’t have to be like that. We can be amazing, and smart and beautiful in our own way. We don’t need super-powers or tight sexy costumes to change the world.
The fact that this beautiful, highly physically trained “wonder woman” was so completely ignorant of anything outside her sheltered island life just rubbed me wrong. I call that power without knowledge. That is a dangerous thing. At the end of the movie, she supposedly has found her powers and her true identity. But I couldn’t see it. I still saw her as lost–stuck between two worlds.
POWER WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE
I could not help but notice the contrast between Wonder Woman (although fictional, just hang with me for a second), and the three women in Hidden Figures. They had knowledge but no power — while Diana had power but no knowledge. Who was stronger? (I’m not talking about physical strength here).
I believe the three black women in Hidden Figures were stronger, because they had knowledge, and they believed in themselves. They KNEW who they were and what they were capable of. And that gave them more power than Diana ever had. She is a fictional character, but many woman and young girls will look up to her as a “hero”. Lets not forget these three real-life heroes who were beautiful, brilliant and brave in their knowledge and power. Let’s allow their lives to inspire us.
Keeping It Real! – Sbmccoy
*For more movie reviews read: Making a Fun Family Movie Night