*Summary no spoilers*
Believe it or not these are two different movies. Even though the Golden Globes red carpet interviewers didn’t seem to notice. There were some similarities, for instance both movies had stellar performances by black actors. Hidden Figures and Fences had great storylines and invoked emotion. They were both nominated for Golden Globe Awards. But they are two different films. I enjoyed them both for different reasons.
First you must know that I am sick of slave movies. Yes I said it. I am very aware of our ugly, gruesome history and how we arrived to this country. I know all about Harriet Tubman and the slaves she led to freedom. I have seen Django and didn’t enjoy it at all. I have no desire to see twelves years or thirteen years or still a slave. I know the narrative all to well.
What I didn’t know about was the story of the three black woman who worked for NASA. I don’t want this blog to be a spoiler I want it to entice you to go and see these movies. Hidden Figures tells the story of three math and science geniuses. Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson), Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) were the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history. Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer and the brilliant Taraji Henson (who I love seeing outside of her ‘ round the way girl role) were wonderful at bringing this story to life.
The movie filled me up with so much pride. I thought about all of the little black STEM girls. I thought of the assets those woman were to NASA. Not just the three men portrayed in the movie but all of the women in the “colored” computing department. When John Glen went to the moon he did so because of my sistas. My beautiful, intelligent wonderful sistas. The movie was phenomenal and I can’t wait to take 5 girls from the YWCA to see it this weekend.
Fences was also very good and the actors did a wonderful job of bringing August Wilson’s play to the screen. Denzel Washington who is not my favorite actor in the word was outstanding. The chemistry between Washington and Viola Davis was red hot. Fences is about a poor man named Troy Maxson (Washington) who worked as a garbage man. He takes care of his wife Rose (Davis), and his sons Lyons and Cory. The oldest son Lyons is a musician who thinks his dad’s line of work is beneath him. The youngest son Cory has dreams of playing football. His dad thinks he should learn a trade and be more sensible. The movie shows how the mistakes of the father led to the way he raised his son. He ruled with tough love but still love no doubt.
Viola Davis is quickly becoming my favorite actress period. Her body of work thus far is epic and this film is no different. Denzel also continues to show us why we need to put some “ Respeck” on his name.
Both films were excellent. One showed the brilliance that comes from a love for learning and the other the tumultuous relationship between the father and son as he transforms from boy to man. Both made you proud and left you wanting to know the stories behind the films. The settings were different. But what both of these films shared was my head being held high as I left the theatre. The warmth that came over me seeing all the black girl magic that Hidden Figures was laced with. The great passion and fire that exudes through both Washington and Davis in Fences. I advise you to go see both movies as soon as you can and tell me how they make you feel.