On the Basis of Sex is a biographical film about Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her early years. The film opens with a young RBG (played by the lovely & talented Felicity Jones) & her very supportive husband, Marty Ginsburg (Armie Hammer).
As a newlywed and student at Harvard Law School, where she was one of only nine women, Ruth Bader Ginsburg learned to overcome challenges.
On the Basis of Sex is inspired by the true story of a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg – then a struggling attorney and new mother – who faces adversity and numerous obstacles in her fight for equal rights throughout her career.
When Ruth takes on a groundbreaking tax case with her husband, attorney Martin Ginsburg, she knows it could change the direction of her career and the way the courts view gender discrimination. The film also chronicles the storybook-like romance between Ruth and Marty, a partnership that succeeded both personally and professionally.
I found the movie fascinating. As someone who grew up in the ‘80s and remembers when RBG was appointed to the Supreme Court in the early ‘90s, I marveled at all of the things she accomplished when she was in her twenties.
The scenes that really resonated with me were the ones dealing with Ruth’s daughter Jane, played by Cailee Spaeny. The push-pull of their dynamic (a tween struggling with her formidable parent), coupled with the fact that Jane at times resents not having a traditional mother. The movie gives insight to the barriers that Ruth had to deal with both in her career but at home as well.
The drama really heats up in the latter part of the movie, especially the scenes between Melvin Wulf, as played by Justin Theroux (I nearly didn’t recognize him) & RBG. Their scenes just crackle with energy! Also I may or may not have shed a tear or two during the final scenes as Ruth gives a passionate courtroom summation.
Overall I found the On the Basis of Sex very interesting to watch. If you’re a fan of RBG or want to learn more about the early days of the women’s movement, this is the film to see! After all, it wasn’t that long ago that women couldn’t own a credit card unless it was in their husband’s name. To see how far we’ve come, we owe a lot to Ruth Bader Ginsburg!
“On the Basis of Sex” is out now in select theaters & opening wide on January 11th.
“On the Basis of Sex” is rated PG-13.
Visit the “On the Basis of Sex” website here for more information.
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. I attended an advanced screening of the movie which helped facilitate this review. Images used with permission from Focus Features. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.