ON THE BASIS OF SEX
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(True tale of RBG)
We had seen and enjoyed the documentary on the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and looked forward to the “biopic” about her life. “On the Basis of Sex” turned out to be much more than a documentary, playing out like an exciting, true-to-life tale of a determined woman dedicated to a cause during a male-dominated time in our history.
Felicity Jones plays Ruth Bader Ginsburg with passion, supported and enabled by her smart, caring, intelligent husband Marty, portrayed with the same degree of passion by Armie Hammer.
Ginsburg was one of only nine women enrolled in the Harvard Law School back in the mid-fifties, where the movie begins. She endures the subtle and not-so-subtle prejudices toward women as she graduates from both Harvard and Columbia and tries to get a job. We follow her through the struggles of juggling a career, dealing with Marty’s cancer, and raising a family.
Cailee Spaeny plays her teenage daughter who is as wise and stubborn as her mother, becoming an activist in her own right.
This is a movie about women’s rights, but it also is a movie about the rights of everyone, male or female, black or white.
Centering around Moritz vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Marty uses his expertise as a top tax lawyer, along with Ruth’s passion for the Constitution and equal rights under the law to defend a man in a milestone gender equality case. An interesting aside, Ruth’s secretary, while typing her arguments, suggests using the term “gender” rather than “sex.”
The courtroom scenes are compelling, with the three Supreme Court judges looking like Supreme Court justices and asking probing, intelligent questions to challenge the Ginsburgs.
This is one intelligent movie that makes you think about serious legal questions, while never speaking down to its audience, but also explaining difficult legalese that we can understand. You will be cheering Ruth Bader Ginsburg and have a better understanding of this heroic woman and her family.
Rated PG-13 with some minor profanity.