What Is It The secret women of 1960s science? The film stars Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, the unsung scientist who calculated the trajectory for Project Mercury and Apollo 11, one of many under-appreciated hidden figures (ah, just got the title).
Why Could It Be A Contender It’s a proper underdog story that brings in multiple prejudices to make a powerful point that (like several on this list) is still pertinent today, which puts it right in the Academy’s ballpark. Everything about Fox’s approach so far – they’re following the “limited Christmas Day release before going wide in January” model – suggests this will be their big push for gold. Theodore Melfi’s previous film, St. Vincent, was at one point speculated to be a potential Bill Murray Oscar vehicle for 2015, but that fell flat due to minimal attention. The same is unlikely to be true of this.
What Might Stop It? The minimal attention to St. Vincent was, in part, due to it not quite living up to its quirky premise. And there’s the problem; Melfi’s an unproven talent, and while on paper his film ticks all the awards boxes, he’ll need to really wow to get in alongside the more proven names. Essentially, it’s a quality question