Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 222: Hidden Figures (2017) and Fences (2016)

Episode 222

Welcome back to Movie Podcast Weekly, where we sometimes describe movies horribly… Before we tell you about Episode 222, be sure you haven’t missed our previous release, our MPW 2017 Preview. In this show, we bring you Feature Reviews of Hidden Figures (2017) and Fences (2016). We also discuss unsavory topics, such as determining how much mucous is too much mucous during an acting performance (even if it’s a great one)? And we also abruptly interrupt any movie reviewing on this show to bring you updates from the Clemson versus Alabama game. Priorities, everybody… Priorities. We hope you’ll join us!

If you’re new to our show… Movie Podcast Weekly typically features four hosts — Jason, Andy, Karl and Geek Cast Ry — along with frequent guests. We give you our verdicts on at least one new movie release from the current year that’s currently playing in theaters, as well as several mini reviews of whatever we’ve been watching lately. New episodes release every single week!


I. Introduction
— Karl’s trip to Las Vegas and the Blue Man Group
— Jason will tweet micro reviews in 2017: @MovieCastWeekly
MPW 2017 Preview
— New winner of Karl’s digital Bourne movie: Smitty

Episode 222b

[ 0:11:45 ] II. Mini Reviews
Karl: The Man in the High Castle, 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, High-tech TV Update
Jason: 74th Golden Globes, David Blaine: Real or Magic?, Crocodile Dundee, Alien: Covenant tagline, Horror Movie Podcast Top 10 Horror of 2016
Ryan: TV shopping, Annie Hall, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

— Ryan’s film premise game: Films described horribly

III. New in Theaters This Past Weekend (Friday, Jan. 6, 2017):
Hidden Figures
Underworld: Blood Wars
A Monster Calls
I, Daniel Blake
The Ardennes
Railroad Tigers
I’m You
Between Us
The Vault
Lost & Found
The Bronx Bull


[ 0:59:14 ] IV. Feature Review: FENCES (2016)
Jason = 9 ( See in Theater to support great cinema / Must-see Rental)

[ 1:23:17 ] V. Feature Review: HIDDEN FIGURES (2017)
Karl = 7.5 ( Theater / Rental )

VI. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

Episode 223 where we’ll be reviewing “Patriots Day,” “Silence,” “Sleepless,” “Live by Night” and “Sing”(2016). Join us!


Ryan recommends checking out Delve – An Anthology of Deepening Fantasy and Fiction

Horror Movie Podcast Top 10 Horror of 2016

Contact MPW:
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Ryan’s New Facebook Page
Ry’s flagship show: Geek Cast Live Podcast
DONATE here to facilitate the creation of more Geek content!
Blog: Geek Cast Live
Web site: Geek
Twitter: @GeekCastRy

Jason recommends supporting: Operation Underground Railroad

Listen to MPW:
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Josh’s links:
Hear Josh named as one of the Top 5 Up-and-Coming Directors on The Film Vault Podcast!
Twitter: @IcarusArts
Josh covers streaming movies on: Movie Stream Cast
Hear Josh on The SciFi Podcast
Hear Josh on Horror Movie Podcast

If you’re a Horror fan, listen to Jason and Josh on HORROR MOVIE PODCAST

We’d like to thank The Dave Eaton Element and Dave himself for the use of his music for our theme song. Buy Dave’s Eaton’s music:

Fake Ryan movie titles:
I’m You
The Vault

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Thanks for listening, and join us again next week for Movie Podcast Weekly.

50 thoughts on “Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 222: Hidden Figures (2017) and Fences (2016)

  1. Quick question:
    When we get into lengthy tech discussions (such as the TV shopping discussion in this episode), would you prefer that I move it to the end of the show, before the wrap-up? We welcome your feedback. Thanks!

    • I would prefer to have the conversation unravel organically. I wouldn’t mind it if it were moved to the end, but I also don’t mind it staying where it currently is. In fact, I prefer it that way.

    • Hello J,

      It is best to place the tech talk where ever you like in the podcast as we will enjoy all that is said. I for one listen to the whole show because you never know when you are going to get a nugget of a comment in the show.


    • I have two seemingly conflicting thoughts, but they work together. First, I think if Karl knows he’s going to get into a deep dive of tech talk, the show (and audience) would be better served to have him save it for a segment at the end. For instance, I personally tuned into this episode to hear the Hidden Figures review and I got anxious a couple of times in my waiting.

      Having said that, if he doesn’t know how deep he’ll go and it’s just a conversation that naturally grows, I agree with Juan that it’s better to leave the organic conversation in where it happened. The flow is better and it creates a more inviting tone overall.

    • Nah, just leave things as they are. I never get agitated during the digressions. I enjoy listening to you guys talk about whatever. :-)

  2. Answer; I don’t care. I’m listening either way.

    I have something to say on the oft recurring topic of watching “Old Movies That You Should Have Seen If You Love Movies”.

    The incoming “Transpotting 2” got me interested in “Transpotting”, a movie whose title I have certainly heard but somehow got past me without my knowing anything about it. I think it probably released during a time in my life when I was ill-prepared for such a gritty movie and I’m really glad I didn’t see it way back then (1996). I’m also quite glad that at this point I went in pretty cold. It made the impact of this terrific film all the more mind-blowing. So I guess what I want to put forward here, is that maybe there’s a time and a season for all movies and in a world where, for most of us, our movie-watching resources are finite, it may be ok to let some of them come around for the time when we are not checking off a list of titles that make us well-watched, but truly watching films we are interested in and ready to pay the due they deserve.

    Trainspotting 10/10

    • I agree with your assessment, Jenifer.

      One example for me is Reality Bites. It came out my senior year of high school and I just found it totally off putting. I just felt it was a lot of whining.

      Saw it again right before I graduated college and while I still felt there was a little too much whining and Winona 100% picked the wrong guy, I totally got it. It’s dissection of the fears of leaving school and moving on to “real life” spoke to me in a way it hadn’t four years prior.

  3. The Crown is a 9/10, guys.

    Downton Abbey is one of my five favorite shows of all time. Is The Crown as good as that show? No, but neither is any series on television right now. With how much Karl enjoys Downton, he should give it a watch. It’s quite the crowning achievement for Netflix. It’s going to span six seasons, covering approximately a decade for each series.

    I do love Quarry on Starz, though.

    Annie Hall is an 11/10. Yeah, that’s right. It’s THE go to romantic comedy masterpiece. Though, Manhattan is right there with it. I grew up a Star Wars nutcase, just like all of you. However, Woody Allen’s film deserved the top trophy of that year. He was the first person since Orson Welles to be nominated for actor, director, & screenwriter for the same picture. He cared so little about winning any award in 1977, that he spent Oscar night at Michael’s pub, playing the clarinet. The animated scene, subtitled conversation, cocaine sneeze (as Ryan pointed out), opening monologue, & Alvy growing up under the rollercoaster, make this top notch brilliance.

  4. The Crown is absolutely fantastic, guys. I have no problem with it cleaning house at the Golden Globes. It’s certainly well-deserved.

    Now, did I prefer Stranger Things? Yes, but that’s a completely subjective feeling from someone who loves genre material. Technically speaking, The Crown is possibly the best out there right now, and it has a much broader appeal than something like Stranger Things or Westworld. I think that’s something we often lose site of.

    Pro tip for life: stop criticizing things (The Crown) that you are unfamiliar with!

    • For the record, Dino (in case anyone else missed this)… I hope your comments are directed at Karl and, I think, Ryan’s dismissiveness… I was the one who was saying that since “The Crown” had so much buzz, I want to check it out! Then I asked you all if it was good…

      Karl was blindly making proclamations that it meant that awards shows know nothing for overlooking “Stranger Things.” (I don’t rate things I haven’t seen — except maybe for some obvious stupid supernatural Horror movie trailers… ha ha)

      • The Crown is definitely exceptional. Karl, I think you’ll love it. Jay, since you don’t like period pieces or drama I suspect you might not dig it. But you would definitely respect it. It is VERY well done. It NEVER feels like a cheap TV show.

      • Ok, that’s true, you were saying you might be interested in checking it out.

        For the record, I’m sort of with Vance in that I’m not so sure you’ll be into it. But it’s definitely award-worthy.

        In any case, my apologies for lumping you into the Karl grumpy brigade!

    • I’ll chime in here and add my voice to the chorus: “The Crown” is fantastic. It’s top-notch cinematic storytelling. TV in the sense of being presented episodically, but a movie in almost every other way. I keep hearing it spoken in hushed tones that Netflix spent $100 million to produce it. Actually, when you see how good it is, it’s nothing short of astonishing that they were able to swing the whole business for that small an amount. No real surprise that the dialogue, story, and acting are first-rate, given Peter Morgan writing everything and the caliber of cast (and directors) on hand, but it’s how well they handle everything else that’s a real eye-opener. The episodes are all right around an hour in length, so we’re talking about almost 10 hours of content for $100 million. Put another way, that’s 2.5 10-episode seasons of “The Crown” for roughly the same production cost as one “Captain America: Civil War.”

  5. OLED’s are light emitting diodes that use an organic compound as an electrophorus to emit the light. There are also two different types of color mixing. Televisions fall under the additive light category. In which the primary colors are Red, Green, and Blue. Yellow is actually a mix of Red and Green…..physics is cool.

    -the brain…out.

    • We loved these, Eric.

      I preemptively apologized for not knowing (and appreciating) the listener who did these photos… I’m sorry.

      I try to at least read every comment, but if I were 100% perfect at that, our shows would be even later … ha ha. Sorry, Eric. I’ll do better!

      Great pics!
      Much love,

  6. Dearest Jay,

    I’m aware that your goal with this podcast is to review as many movies as possible, but I think it’s a mistake to steer away from what made me fall in love with your podcast in the first place: having three different points of view. It seems to me that lately all three hosts have been going to see different movies, resulting in individual reviews and therefore only one perspective. With how different your personalities are, it’s very interesting to see where each of you land on any given movie. The last time that I remember all three hosts reviewing a movie together was Rogue One. And before that, I can’t even remember the last time all three of you reviewed a movie together. Would it be too much to ask for you to at least review one movie together every episode? I guarantee you that’s what most of us want from you.

    • I absolutely agree with you, Juan, but I also sympathize bc that’s one of the (few) reasons I left the show. If you’re not a paid critic, it’s not much fun to pay to go to the theater to see a movie you have no interest in. Having not talked to these guys about it, Imbsure it’s actually those different perspectives on the cinema that have them going to different films. They are seeing the films they are most interested in. That’s fair. Now, Jason wants to be a legit critic and gets press screening invites and such, so maybe he’s in a different boat … idk.

    • I back Juan and the Wolfman. Josh definitely make some fair points here. Seeing bad movies merely for the love of the game could certainly become a slog at times. And I’d never want to be seen as criticizing the wonderful free entertainment/enlightenment that MPW brings into my life each week. Bless Jay’s movie-loving heart for faithfully devoting so much time to this thing week after week, and bless his able cohosts for taking on their share of the load.

      If I could pick one thing to “fix” about MPW, however, this might be it. Moreso, actually, than the ongoing kerfuffle over the Best Movies of the Year episode. (Even though that could be fixed without doing anything more than changing the annual scheduling of a single episode.) I often wish that the team would focus on one movie each week, that everyone sees, plus mini-reviews and all the rest of it. If there are other feature reviews in the mix, so much the better. But it would be nice to hear a group discussion of at least one movie every week.

    • That’s an interesting point Juan. Now that you mention it I do notice the trend. Also, I’ve noticed that sometimes Jay will ask the other guys about a movie or show that they’ve been waiting to see to get different point of views and sometimes it seems like no one else ever gets around to it. But that’s the difference between this podcast and say Horror Movie Podcast. The show is on such a much broader topic since it potentially spans all cinema.

  7. Having just finish the novel “A Monster Calls,” I think it is safe to say that the repeated line: “I see you” is from the new film of the same name. And NOT from that Fern Gully/Pocahontas firework show starring giant smurfs with awkward hair habits.

  8. Went to see Silence yesterday, and quite liked it. As you might expect from a nearly 3 hour long Scorsese movie, it is pretty sweeping and dense, with a decent amount to chew on. But I thought it did a very good job of depicting multiple facets of the situation; Jesuit priests being captured and encouraged to renounce their Christian faith in 17th century Japan, with the local Christians being slaughtered as the price for the priests’ continued faith, and as further encouragement for them to apostasize.

    Perhaps the best recommendation I can give is that although it’s a slow-moving, often quiet and dialogue heavy film about religious faith, I was with it for the full three hours. I especially liked the politics and reasoning involved at points when the main priest (Andrew Garfield) is a prisoner and has conversations with the Japanese leaders. There is also a side character, Kichijiro, who has a recurring role in Garfield’s journey, and I liked how his role played out.

    The dilemma of having faith when that faith is not being answered or shown to have merit (the title refers to the result of their prayers) is a very interesting one, and while I didn’t personally connect with the ending resolution of that, I could still appreciate it as the director’s/writer’s choice, and why that might work for the characters.

    It’s the kind of film I have no desire to see again, but I am very glad I saw it once, and it is lingering in my mind today, so there is some good resonance to it.


  9. So any initial Oscar nomination thoughts?

    As you may expect, I’m super disappointed that Sing Street didn’t have a song in there. Much as I love La La Land and don’t begrudge it having many nominations, it really didn’t need two song nominations (though that will probably give Lin-Manuel Miranda his EGOT by splitting the votes).

    I’m very happy that Viggo Mortensen got a nod for Captain Fantastic. He won’t win, (he acknowledged that in the Q&A last week), but it will help plug the film to a wider audience.

    I do think Meryl Streep is a great actress, and gave great life to her performance in Florence Foster Jenkins, but no way did she need yet another nomination this year, when Amy Adams is shut out for Arrival and Noctural Animals.

    No John Goodman for 10 Cloverfield Lane, either. Not surprising, really, but would have been nice.

    The Handmaiden left out of Foreign Film? Huh?? (I did finally see that, btw, and will comment on it sometime soon.)

    Nice to see Kubo get a nod for visual effects, which I think is very rare for an animated film. I don’t expect it to win the animated category over Moana, but it has a chance for visual effects.

    I’m a little surprised that Lion got so many nominations, including Best Picture. I barely knew about that film before seeing it last week. It is great, though, so I’m please about that.

    Are we going to have a pool for Oscar voting? If so, I’ll donate a prize for the winner (if it’s not me!) – a DVD or Blu-Ray of Sing Street or Captain Fantastic (winner’s choice).

    • Amy Adams was the only big surprise for me. I was glad to see Secret Life of Pets didn’t get a Best Animated nomination.

      Goodman would have been great but we all knew that wasn’t happening.

    • I’ll hop in the conversation Eric.

      I’ve only seen a few of these nominated movies so far.

      I’m curious how many of you who read this have seen the Nominations for Best Picture (I’ve included the Metascore for each):

      81 Arrival – This movie made my Honorable Mentions. I really like this movie. Performances by Amy Adams stand out and I feel she was snubbed for lead actress category. And I really like the way this was shot. Even though I feel it had a dull over-all color palette (I believe was the point of the filmmakers) And Karl,( I thought about this since you had mentioned it on MPW) I didn’t have any issue with it being too dark. I felt there were definitely some beautiful shots particularly a scene showing helicopters flying in toward the “spaceship”.

      78 Fences- Haven’t seen this yet. J’s rating and recommendation as well from what I heard and read about this movie I will be seeing this soon

      71 Hacksaw Ridge – 9/10 for me. Only a couple little things hold it back from being a 10 for me. Loved this movie and a great return for Mel Gibson as a director. The war scenes to me were depicted so realistically it DID remind me of Saving Private Ryan. Since Amazing Spiderman movies I really haven’t seen Andrew Garfield too much and thought he was an “okay” actor, but now after watching this and the more recent Silence -this is an Actor to keep an eye on and i’m looking forward to watching him in more movies.

      88 Hell or High Water – Made my top 10. I was disappointed Ben Foster didn’t get the supporting actor nomination. I really think he is over-looked in Hollywood. His performance, along with Chris Pine(actually surprised me how good it was) and Jeff Bridges and standout, memorable dialogue( I agree with you Ryan) makes me happy it received a Nomination here, but I know it won’t win.

      74 Hidden Figures – I haven’t seen this yet. I’ve heard really good things from people I know who have seen this movie as well and the reviews in this Podcast- but, I have to admit I have a mild interest in seeing it.

      93 La La Land – Am I the only one who hates this movie title?! For me more like Na Na Not going to see it. Like Eric I’m fine with the 14 nominations it received and don’t hate it because of it, however I feel about half of those could have been shared with and included some other talent. I don’t understand Musicals. Not my thing. That is why I won’t see this. Although I have to admit the few musicals I could stomach and admit I have enjoyed are Phantom of the Opera (Gerard Butler), Moulin Rouge and Fiddler on the Roof. I know- it’s hypocritical.

      69 Lion – Also heard good things and look forward to seeing this

      96 Manchester by the Sea – I wanted to watch this with my wife the other night, but she said she wasn’t in the mood for a depressing movie. I will definitely take this in before the Academy Awards and really look forward to this as well
      99 Moonlight – Haven’t seen this either, but look forward to and like the others I haven’t seen yet will watch it before the Awards.

      And similar to what Eric mentioned- John Goodman’s performance from 10 Cloverfield was something I didn’t think would get a nomination but not because a poor performance but due to the politics and movie choices the Academy typically goes after. This was my biggest disappointment in the nominations this year.

  10. Just a note about Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes: I suspect part of her decision was to affirm the members of the Foreign Press Association, in which case, making such statements during the Golden Globes makes sense.

  11. This is for Ryan’s Game Films described horribly, can you guess mine-

    Girls falls in love with a wanna be pilots who are trained by a hard core drill instructor who kicks them in the balls literally and figuratively!

    Short and simple can you guys guess my favorite movie?


    • Top Gun? I never saw it, but I assume that’s it, right?

      Here’s mine: A bunch of guys hang out together for years and build a library. Eventually, two of them go to Mexico.

      • Sorry Eric that is incorrect what is even more wrong you NEVER seen Top Gun for shame… You lost that love and feeling… Get on it right away!

        Also your movie is Shawshank Redemption.


  12. Geesh. Remember when I was way too invested in Movie Podcast Weekly, Jason? I had to laugh at the contrast of BOTH Karl AND Ryan watching a televised (football?) game WHILE RECORDING and interrupting your review, as sad as it also made me. You took it in stride, though. A true professional.

    • I know Jay thinks I’m mocking the podcast when I say that I enjoy stuff like this, but I sincerely think the spontaneous interjections and digressions add flavor.

      Also, Jason handles everything like a pro. He is an officer, a gentleman, and a merry old soul. I don’t think he minds too much when his fiddlers three occasionally veer from the script, although interrupting someone else’s review with a football update is definitely bad form. On a related note, my impression for quite a while has been that GCR is watching something while podcasting about 95 percent of the time. I used to wonder what was going on in his head when there would be, say, a 25- or 30-minute stretch without a peep from Ry. After hearing him say something like, “I just finished watching (name of show/movie),” or, “I’m watching (name of show/movie) right now,” a few too many times, however, all the pieces finally clicked into place.

  13. I really enjoyed this episode, but I gotta also give some late-breaking love to 221. That was a podcasting tour de force! Jason was at the height of his powers in that episode.

    Also, hot tip about the ninth “Fast and the Furious” movie: I was just reading that it’s a soft reboot with Vin Diesel exiting the franchise (again), and The Rock only contributing a cameo. The new series star is British Spidey himself, Tom Holland, who plays a young straight-arrow FBI guy drawn into a web of crime and deceit while trying to find his childhood best friend … a young street artist who has gone missing after being caught between his ex-felon brother and his father’s obsession with lowrider car culture.

  14. First time listener, but I just wanted to give a shout out since Clemson winning the national championship got mentioned! Love that you guys are so off the cuff for the show and glad my Alma Mater gave you guys as much excitement as they did me that night

  15. I loved Karl and Ryan judging The Crown without having seen it. It reminded me that I miss Andy… It certainly was deserving of the nomination and I believe the win as well. John Lithgow owns the Churchill character. … he was fantastic as was Claire Foy as Her Majesty. Good review of Hidden Figures Karl, nailed it.

  16. The Founder: A pretty darn great film about the founding and franchising of McDonald’s. Michael Keaton is excellent as Ray Kroc, and the smile on my face was huge and justified when I saw Nick Offerman as one of the McDonald brothers. (John Carroll Lynch is also perfect as the other brother.) The first half or so is especially fun as it walks you through the different innovations that made the franchise so successful, and the early history of its growth. The later part involves more of how the larger business entity developed, and that’s also decent, if not as engrossing for me as the earlier part. Witty and shot with good energy. I didn’t expect to love this, but I did. It’s a 9 and a high-priority rental.

    Nocturnal Animals: Gripping for the most part, but at the end I was like, uh, okaaaaay. Did anything really happen? It’s about a woman whose ex-husband has written a novel. The movie plays out both the real life narrative and also the narrative of the novel. And it’s all kind of connected and symbolic, but ultimately felt thin and unsatisfying. The story shown within the film has some decent Coen influence and feel to it, so that’s cool, but again, it ends with more of a thud than a bang. 7.5

    Hacksaw Ridge: I gotta admit, Mel Gibson has some major skills for violent drama. This is pretty solid. I had a love/hate thing with the script, though, where there are quite a few good lines and scenes, but also some very hackneyed parts that felt laborious. 8.5

    Tickled: I kept hearing recommendations from other film podcasts about this documentary, and finally gave it a spin. It follows a filmmaker’s quest to cover the bizarre sport of endurance tickling, but ends up being about the harassment the filmmaker himself undergoes at the hands of someone involved with that. And yeah, that ends up being a really twisted story of obsession. Worth a look, but also spins its wheels a bit. 7

    Her: How did I not ever see this before? Brilliant. This is practically an extended Black Mirror episode with a much lighter tone. Joaquin Phoenix may be an oddball, but man, can he bring it. Wonderful script, too. Hits close to home as well. And I’d be happy to date a voice-only version of ScarJo, if I can’t have the rest of her. :) 9.5

  17. Saw Hidden Figures today and really liked it. Nothing groundbreaking in terms of film depictions, but it did what it set out to do, telling a compelling story about some fascinating people that I didn’t know about. Performances were solid across the board, including Costner, who can be very hit-or-miss to me. He didn’t try to do an accent this time, though, so that helped.

    I can’t remember if it was Karl or Eric Snider from Movie BS (or perhaps both) who said that they’d have liked to see more about the actual math and what it meant, but I’d say they showed enough for the average person to appreciate. Any more detail about that, and my eyes would have glazed over. I think they were right to focus more on the personal struggles of these ladies and their situation. I’ll go just a bit higher than Karl with an 8.

    And with that being the last film from 2016 that I think had a chance to make my top 10 list, I’m ready to give my amended list, which includes two additions (La La Land and Lion) since the previous list, with Swiss Army Man and Zootopia getting bumped to the Honorable Mentions.

    1. Sing Street
    2. Captain Fantastic
    3. La La Land
    4. 10 Cloverfield Lane
    5. The Witch
    6. Arrival
    7. Hell or High Water
    8. Don’t Think Twice
    9. Genius
    10. Lion

    Others I really liked that didn’t quite make the top 10, in no particular order: Zooptopia, The Little Prince, Swiss Army Man, Krisha, Florence Foster Jenkins, The Jungle Book, Hail Caesar!, The Nice Guys, Moana, Moonlight, The Handmaiden, Eye in the Sky, Fences, Manchester by the Sea, Sully, A Monster Calls, Deadpool, The Founder, Green Room, Kubo and the Two Strings, Silence, Hidden Figures


    Also, some trailer comments…

    Having seen the trailer for Wonder Woman a few times now, I feel okay to say that I think it will be good, and break the DC slump. Not sure it will be fantastic, but it looks like it’s at least good. I’ve been hesitant to say that, with DC’s track record, but I predict it will not only do good box office, but also be in at least the high 70’s on Rotten Tomatoes, if not higher.

    The trailer for the new Smurf movie is candy for my eyes. On a big screen, the colors in the “lost village” scenes tickle the visual pleasure center of my brain. It’s probably really stupid, but I kind of want to see it just for the color design, which is not something I think I’ve ever said about a film.

  18. I’m late to the party here because I’ve been catching up on back episodes I missed (in reverse order), but I just wanted to add a couple of comments to the reviews/dialogue:

    Jason –

    I think you either missed some dialogue in Fences, or perhaps don’t know the history of the Negro Leagues, but you said that Troy (Denzel’s character) missed out on his dream “…according to him, because of racial issues.” But it was the simple historical fact of segregation: he wouldn’t have been allowed to play in the Major Leagues since his ball-playing career (in the Negro Leagues) happened before integration began (i.e. before Jackie Robinson). And even though it’s clear he’s a bit of a braggart in the film, I don’t think we’re supposed to believe that his friend, Jim, also lies about how great a ball-player he was, so the assumption is supposed to be that he would have been a great Major League baseball player if he had been allowed in. So it wasn’t so much that he didn’t achieve his dream, but more that he was prevented from fulfilling his dream. A whole different kind of bitterness…

  19. I just wanted to add some (belated) commentary about ‘Hidden Figures’:

    I was surprised by how much I liked it (given the track record of these kinds of movies overdoing the schmaltz), but I actually felt the film achieved what it was attempting to do extremely well – and it did it without being egregiously maudlin, sanctimonious, or, IMO, especially didactic. And while I would agree with Karl that the example of the segregated toilets was a bit overdone, many of the other examples of gender and/or racial bias – especially small but ignominious moments, such as being the only black person in a group of dozens of workers, and finding a tiny, crappy coffeepot with the label ‘colored’ stuck on it – really drove home the commonplace indignities suffered daily. But most of all, the movie struck me (without knowing anything about the original story/screenplay beforehand) as a story which was clearly written by women, and not men.

    This got me thinking about the other Oscar-nominated (or lauded) female-centric films of this year – and the contrast between those that were written (and directed) by men (for example, ‘Moana’, ‘Elle’, ’20th Century Women’, etc.), and those that were written by women (original source material and/or screenplay), such as ‘Hidden Figures’ and ‘The Handmaiden’.

    Now I’m not suggesting that men can’t write for female characters or that those films don’t have merit – but for me, there’s a noticeable difference between the stories about women from women, versus those about women from men. And I’d be curious to hear other opinions – especially from any women here that have seen films from both groups.

    • Oh – and I’d give it a slightly higher rating than Karl (or Eric) – partially because it’s one of the few movies nominated (in any category) that was written by women: 8.5/10

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