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Hidden Figures; Heal the Living; A Cure for Wellness and more – review

 

Theodore Melfi’s feelgood drama about Nasa’s black female mathematicians in the 60s adds up to something special, while Heal the Living is a sublime opera of feeling

I first saw Hidden Figures (Fox, PG) alone in a screening room on the morning after Donald Trump’s election victory, in a mood that would swiftly kill the pleasures of many an innocent, well-meaning movie. In this case, however, it proved perversely perfect timing: Theodore Melfi’s rousing, grand-hearted story of the black female Nasa mathematicians who defied civil rights-era workplace prejudice to advance the space race was, corny as it sounds, just the direct, hopeful fight-the-power story my bruised liberal heart needed that day. A few months later, with real-world matters no brighter, it’s still a healing tonic. Its politics aren’t especially subversive, while cinematically, it follows the Oscar-approved based-on-a-true-story formula to a cosy T. But those mainstream trappings work in its favour: long buried in the margins of history, this is a story that deserves to be told in big, broad, all-welcome fashion. Good-humoured, right-on and acted with soulful conviction, it’s the most feelgood film this feel-bad moment could possibly have summoned.

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Source: Guardian

By Max Schindler