Certain TIFF journos were invited to attend a showing of five or six scenes from Theodore Melfi‘s Hidden Figures (20th Century Fox, 12.25 limited, 1.13.17 wide), and I must say that I’m more jazzed about seeing this fact-based tale than before. Each scene was about the three NASA mathematicians (Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, Octavia Spencer as Dorothy Vaughan, Janelle Monáe as Mary Jackson) dealing tactfully with early ’60s racism, sexism and frowning office politics. Monae had the best scene — she may be the big standout. It seemed clear that the screenplay (by Melfi and Allison Schroeder) will be sharp and snappy, and that the performances will touch bottom. You can also tell Kevin Costner will nail his role of a senior NASA bossman. The teaser that popped in mid-August presented lighter, funnier, more romantic content (i.e., stuff basically aimed at the dumbasses). Today’s footage was aimed at people like myself — more about science and discrimination and how truly gifted these women were, both cerebrally and emotionally.

Lisa Taback & Associates publicist Albert Tello prior to today’s Hidden Figures concert, which was briefly rained upon.

(l. to r.) Hidden Figures stars Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, composer Pharell Williams, producer Jenno Topping, TIFF honcho Cameron Bailey during post-screening discussion.