On the Basis of Sex
Arriving in theaters roughly eight months after the acclaimed documentary RBG, Mimi Leder’s On the Basis of Sex grows the onscreen legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg through crowd-pleasing but largely rote narrative biopic means.
Written by the Supreme Court Justice’s nephew Daniel Stiepleman, the film follows Ruth (Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything) from her first day at Harvard Law School to the gender discrimination cases that established her as a crusader for equal rights, packing her obstacle navigating with the humanity and determination that have vaulted her to real-life hero status.
Showdowns with powerful men unwilling to give Ruth a fair shot make her inevitable victories all the more sweet, and though the content’s speech-heavy nature comes with the territory of classrooms and courtrooms as a film’s primary settings, it nonetheless makes many scenes come off as dry and expected.
Nevertheless, On the Basis of Sex is foremost a celebration of a great woman and the example she’s set for like-minded people, and both Jones and Armie Hammer (as Ruth’s encouraging husband Marty) are at peak likability in realizing that vision.
Grade: B. Rated PG-13. Now playing at Biltmore Grande, Carolina Cinemark, and the Fine Arts Theatre
(Photo: Focus Features)