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Since it doesn’t appear “The Birth of a Nation ” stands any kind of chance of being nominated for an Oscar at this point, Twentieth Century Fox is filling the slot with its other black release, “Hidden Figures.”

The space-race drama starring Taraji P. Henson, is now set for an Oscar-qualifying release on Christmas Day. Sounds like a smart move to us.

Additionally, the studio has also moved the wide release of “Hidden Figures” forward by a week to Jan. 6.

In the film, Henson portrays Katherine Johnson, a mathematics genius, while Octavia Spencer takes on the role of Dorothy Vaughan and Janelle Monae plays Mary Jackson as a trio of brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind the 1962 launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit — a stunning achievement that turned around the Space Race.

Here’s more from Variety about the film:

Johnson, who worked at NASA from 1952 to 1979, was awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom last year. The film is directed by Melfi from a screenplay co-written with Allison Schroeder, based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s upcoming non-fiction book — “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.”

Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Melfi are producing along with Pharrell Williams, who is overseeing the soundtrack and writing original songs. Fox screened footage at the Toronto Intl. Film Festival, followed by a concert by Williams.

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