Posted Feb 24 2019

On The Basis Of Sex - This Decidedly Old Fashioned Movie Rocks

Dir: Mimi Leder

Starring Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Jack Reynor

What a year Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg has been having. First, a hugely popular and Oscar nominated documentary, putting her whole career in perspective. And now, this decidedly old-fashioned biopic that casts Felicity Jones as the crusading lawyer and focuses on her early career, up to her first significant case in relation to changing sex discrimination laws in the US.

Jones is an impressive lead in Leder’s film, one that is content to play as a classic biopic, full of historical detail told in broad sweeps, backed by solid performers, including Hammer as Ruth’s groundbreakingly supportive husband, Marty. Leder reveals Ginsberg’s own struggles with the discrimination she would later make it her life’s work to challenge in a very conventional manner, in a way reflecting the staid 1950s setting of the film’s first half.

But it still manages to capture a winning degree of emotion in the tale and, as things progress – both historically and thematically – there is a genuine sense of triumph as well.  

See it with the doc RBG for a fuller picture. They do both genuinely complement each other.


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