HomeMoviesThe Right to Count: the cast of the film, the book and the true story

The Right to Count: the cast of the film, the book and the true story

The Right to Count: the cast of the film, the book and the true story

The right to count movies

Hailed as one of the best films of 2016, The right to count (here the review) is directed by Theodore Melfi and tells the story of the African American scientist who collaborated with NASA for the Apollo 11 mission, challenging the racism and sexism of the time. The original title of the film is Hidden Figures, which identifies precisely the figures left in the background of this and the other women involved in the operations of the famous government agency. The story told here is inspired by the novel of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterleypublished in 2016 after long and extensive research.

In fact, the writer began working on the book, belonging to the non-fiction genre, in 2010. Within this she focuses mainly on the biography of three of the women who more than others distinguished themselves within NASA. Due to her important contribution, the text immediately became a best seller, the rights to which were immediately purchased by Fox. In short, its film transposition is realized, thus telling the life of these three women, committed to balancing their careers with family life.

Released in theaters, the film turned out to be one of the biggest cinematic successes of the year. Against a budget of only $25 million, The right to count it went on to collect over 236 globally. Critics’ reviews were also particularly enthusiastic, with particular praise for the main performers. Finally presented as a protagonist at the Oscars, the film won three nominations, respectively for best film, best supporting actress and best adapted screenplay. Instead, it won the prestigious Screen Actors Guild Award for best cast.

The right to count: the plot of the movie

The story takes place in the United States in 1961, in the midst of the struggle against racial segregation. In this context the life of African-American mathematics takes place Catherine Johnson. Together with colleagues Dorothy Vaughan And Mary Jackson, also African-American, works as a calculator clerk for NASA. The government agency is in full swing, as the recent successes of Russian satellites have necessitated new space conquests by the United States. Transferred to the Space Task Group due to her math skills, Johnson finds herself so busy following the team led by Al Harrisonwhose goal is to launch a capsule piloted by one of the base’s astronauts.

She does her new job to the best of her ability, but finds herself held back by a lack of communication with her new colleagues. Indeed, they treated her with marked condescension, as she was the first black woman to work in the group. Like her, the two colleagues are also showing more and more difficulty in carrying out their work in such a closed context that is not inclined to equality between blacks and whites. But the three women are endowed with surprising tenacity and will rely on the knowledge that they have abilities that others do not have. This is how they will each prove to be decisive in their sector, allowing for otherwise unattainable results to be achieved.

The right to count cast

The right to count: the cast of the film

To embellish the cast there are some of the most popular actors on the current US scene, including several Oscar winners. First of all, to give a face to the character of Katherine Johnson there is the actress Taraji P. Henson, became famous thanks to the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. To approach her role, she requested to meet the real Johnson, who was 98 years old at the time of filming. Despite her age, the actress was impressed by her lucidity, and she asked for as many details as possible to be faithful in her interpretation. Johnson later praised the actress’ performance, appreciating the way she portrayed her.

To fill the role of Dorothy Vaughan is instead Octavia Spencerwhich became famous following the victory of the Oscar as supporting actress for the film The Help in 2012. Spencer also conducted several researches on the real woman she played, in order to be able to better step into her shoes. Her performance, which was particularly appreciated by her, earned her an Oscar nomination, again as a supporting actress. Finally, Mary Jackson has the face of the singer and actress here Janelle Monaewho was also featured in another of the award-nominated films that year: Moonlight.

The presence of the Oscar winner is also found in the film Kevin Costner, who plays the character of Al Harrison. This is the head of the team where Johnson begins to work, and will be the first to look suspiciously at the woman. Jim Parsons instead he plays Chief Engineer Paul Stafford. Also a member of the team, he will be the one who wants to have as few relationships as possible with Johnson. The actress Kirsten Dunst instead it gives life to Vivian Mitchell, supervisor of Johnson and Vaughan, with whom he will have heated clashes. Finally, the Oscar award Mahershala Ali it’s Jim Johnson. He is an officer of the National Guard, who will embark on a relationship with Katherine, a source of support for both.

The right to count: the book and the true story

As previously reported, in her essay the author Shetterly reconstructs the life of the three women within NASA based on reliable sources and testimonies. Hers is therefore a version as faithful as possible of what their work and relationship with colleagues was like. Naturally, albeit in good faith, a series of changes were necessary for the film adaptation aimed at giving the story a more cinematic structure, with a greater dramatization of certain aspects and events. First of all, the film focuses on the year 1961, while as it was easily imaginable the true story of the three women covers a much wider time frame.

However, a particular extreme that the film implements is precisely that relating to segregation. The real mathematician Johnson said in several interviews that she has never experienced any particular events of racism or sexism inside the NASA offices. Although he was aware of being looked at and treated differently from other colleagues, this was not as evident as shown in the film. According to her, in fact, everyone was focused on their work and research, and there was rarely time for obvious episodes of racism. In reality, moreover, Johnson did not find herself promoted individually in the Space Task Group. In fact, she worked in the Flight Research Division, and was transferred together with colleagues to the new division when it was founded in 1958.

Finally, many of the characters in the film did not really exist, such as Vivian Mitchell, Paul Stafford and Al Harrison. Their presence, probably only vaguely inspired by real figures, served the writers to accentuate the clashes between the women and the other members of NASA. In general, most of the events narrated in the film follow the true story of the three women and their research, changing only some aspects of their stories. If many turned a blind eye to these alterations, there was still some criticism in this regard, who accused of having wanted to overly dramatize a story that did not deserve it.

The right to count: the trailer and where to see the film in streaming and on TV

For fans of the film, or for those who want to see it for the first time, it will be possible to enjoy it thanks to its presence in the catalog of some of the main streaming platforms available today. The right to count is in fact present on Rakuten TV, Google Play, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Videos And Disney+. Depending on the platform chosen, it will be possible to rent a single film or subscribe to a general subscription to the catalogue. In this way it will then be possible to enjoy the title in complete comfort and with the best video quality. The film will also be broadcast on television Wednesday 24 May at 9.30pm On the canal Rai 1.

Source: IMDb