It’s always exciting to see the latest work from a beloved director, or to watch a great actor return to a classic role. But one of the most underrated pleasures of going to the movies is discovery; watching an actor you’d never heard of before surprise you with their incredible range or charisma, or realizing, in real time, that you’re witnessing the work of a major new artist. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
There are few things I’m more excited about right now than the start of Janelle Monae’s acting career. The R&B funk singer made her big screen debut earlier this year in Barry Jenkins Moonlight, which she is wonderful in, and next up she’ll crack some quips in Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures. That film, which also stars Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer, is the next thing I’m most excited about.
It’s still not easy for women in the STEM industry, and it was even harder in the 1960s. It’s rare to get a glimpse behind the scenes of auspicious historical events like the success of Project Mercury, and even rarer for the movie to look like so much fun. The new trailer for Hidden Figures gives us just that, with Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe portraying the real-life women who helped NASA get ahead in the Space Race that seems as honest to history as it is entertaining.
So far the Rio Olympics have featured a handful of wins for female athletes, from U.S. gymnast Simon Biles to swimmer Katie Ledecky, which made it the perfect opportunity to debut the trailer for ‘Hidden Figures.’