On The Basis Of Sex


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

On The Basis Of Sex
"What could have been preachy is fascinating."

The title reads like a come on. What’s sex got to do with it? Ignore the insinuation. This isn’t about rumpy, nor pumpy. It’s about gender discrimination in the US legal system in the Fifties.

Dry? Stop coughing. That’s only surface dust.

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It’s about a lady called Ruth Bader Ginsburg, from Brooklyn, who ended up as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, except this is the early stuff when finding a job as a female lawyer was like pinning a tail on the donkey when the animal is still alive.

Political? Of course. Is that a bad thing, especially if it’s true? In the sphere of the biopic can “based on real events” be trusted? Ruth’s husband (Arme Hammer) picks up a job easily in a prestigious law firm, while Ruth is coming to terms with discrimination at Harvard Law School.

The film works better than you have any right to expect. The English actress Felicity Jones, better known as Stephen Hawking’s wife Jane in The Theory Of Everything, plays Ruth with intelligence and sympathy. What could have been preachy is fascinating. The actors climb into their roles without noticing the join. Complexity remains but is never a hindrance.

Reviewed on: 21 Feb 2019
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Biopic of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Director: Mimi Leder

Writer: Daniel Stiepleman

Starring: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Cailee Spaeny, Jack Reynor, Stephen Root, Chris Mulkey, Gary Werntz, Francis X. McCarthy, Ben Carlson, Ronald Guttman, Wendy Crewson, John Ralston

Year: 2018

Runtime: 120 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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