I’ll see you at the movies.
If you’re a film buff of a certain age, you might recognize that quote from the late Roger Ebert, sorely missed, especially this time of year when movie awards season is underway. Ebert and his colleague/antagonist, the late Gene Siskel, hosted a weekly show reviewing the latest releases. I enjoyed watching their interplay, sometimes funny, sometimes heated, always passionate.
I love movies. Fortunately, so does my husband, so this Sunday night we will get comfy in bed with a bowl of popcorn and settle in for an entertaining event.
And the nominations are …
These days, of course, everything is readily available on the internet, but back in the day, I would be poised with my paper and pen when the announcement was made at 8:40 am on Good Morning America, followed by Gene Shalit giving his impressions of the picks. I loved hearing his take on the surprises and the snubs. RIP, Gene.
Why was I in a frenzy to scribble down the selections? Well, I had to call my husband to let him know RIGHT AWAY which movies we absolutely had to see before the awards ceremony. We both like to see all the nominated best picture films so we can be fully invested.
Alas, this year we have not seen every nominated film, one of them being Hidden Figures. I’m sad that we won’t see it before Sunday, but I did the next best thing and listened to the New York Times best-selling book on Audible.
Audible is a cinch to use. I have the app on my iPhone and enjoy browsing the titles and downloading audiobooks to listen to in the house, my car, or when I travel.
The award goes to …
Wow. If you haven’t seen the movie, let me fill you in (and I don’t think this will spoil it). Hidden Figures is a true story about female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.
Mind you, this took place in the 1940s, before information was accessible by googling it. These women, known as “human computers,” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets and astronauts into space.
Among the group of mathematically gifted women, numbering in the hundreds, were three African-American women whose contributions to the space effort have flown under the radar, so to speak, until now.
During World War II, there was a shortage of qualified talent in the aeronautics industry, then in its infancy. Anyone with the “right stuff” was encouraged to apply for positions in the fast-paced Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Virginia.
Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson were math teachers in the South’s segregated public schools.They answered the call and found themselves in the fast-paced Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Virginia.This was in the industry’s infancy: before John Glenn orbited the earth, before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.
Unbelievable now, but at that time they were required to be segregated from their white counterparts, and the author delves into the impact of this shameful part of our country’s history. Langley’s all-black West Computing group did have the “right stuff” and their contributions helped America achieve a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War.
These women were trail blazers and incredible role models. Listening to the enormous challenges they faced, and the courage and dignity they displayed in dealing with them, makes this book inspirational as well as educational.
Now I am ready, as Siskel and Ebert used to say, to sit back and enjoy the show.
See you at the movies.
Would you like to try Audible? Click here for your 30-day free trial during which you can download any books you like.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible.
The opinions and text are all mine.