“On the Basis of Sex” is a film about the early legal career of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is directed by Mimi Leder and stars Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justn Theroux, Sam Waterston, and Kathy Bates.
It begins when Justice Ginsburg is already married with a child and starting her first year at Harvard Law School in 1956. Her husband, Martin Ginsburg, is stricken with cancer, however not much is spoiled by revealing that he survived since it is known they were married for over fifty years before his death. The big case at the climax of the film is about a man who was refused a tax deduction usually given to caregivers due to him being a bachelor caring for his ailing mother. The movie deals a lot with the challenges women faced in the mid-twentieth century when they had aspirations such as practicing law or other more lucrative careers.
It was a film I appreciated a bit more than I expected. The performances were strong. I did also like that Martin Ginsburg was portrayed as having a formidable legal expertise as well. I may not agree with Ruth Bader Ginsburg on her political leanings these days, but if this film was at all accurate in the depiction of her early struggles to practice law, I can easily respect her intelligence and tenacity.
All of the cast did well ,even the young actors who played the Ginsburg children. The legalese could get a little dry at times. I had a little trouble at times following the legal terminology, but I got the gist of what was going on.
The movie is certainly one of the stronger releases to kick off 2019.