On the Basis of Sex

On the Basis of Sex

Mimi Leder (2018)

119min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Director Mimi Leder's biopic tracks the early years of ground-breaking American lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones), focusing on her first gender discrimination case. Without a doubt, the life of Ginsburg is worthy of the Hollywood treatment - as demonstrated by RBG, the impressive 2018 documentary about her life and career - but this version of events feels too glossy to do justice to its subject. The film puts a lot of emphasis on the support of her husband Martin (an excellent Armie Hammer), as well as her often strained relationship with daughter Jane (Cailee Spaeny). This helps to show the private side of an icon of activism, but it's the professional side of Ginsburg's life that feels lacking. Portraying her as an underdog pushing against a wave of misogyny may be accurate, but it also undersells the talent of the future US Supreme Court Justice - she was only the second woman to be appointed in 1993. While the performances may be heartfelt, On the Basis of Sex eventually dissolves into "Rocky in a courtroom", which simply doesn't tell the whole story of an undoubtedly fascinating woman.

Cast & Crew

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Felicity Jones
Martin Ginsburg Armie Hammer
Mel Wulf Justin Theroux
Jim Bozarth Jack Reynor
Jane Ginsburg Cailee Spaeny
Professor Brown Stephen Root
Erwin Griswold Sam Waterston
Dorothy Kenyon Kathy Bates
Harriet Griswold Wendy Crewson
Charles Moritz Chris Mulkey
Director Mimi Leder
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Entertainment OneGuidance: SwearingReleased on: 22 Feb 2019