Formidably Ruth (Film Thoughts: On The Basis of Sex)

on_the_basis_of_sex_poster‘On The Basis Of Sex’  present Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg at a very specific time of her life – from her early Harvard days (only the sixth year it has accepted women) to her successful case outlawing discrimination ‘on the basis of sex,’ a watershed moment in gender equality. It is very sympathetic to her, and the film is mostly about her. i have no problems with that, as Ginsberg is surely a formidable figure in modern history. She is resilient, and most importantly, she is on my side of the issues. I think even the most hardened Republican would acknowledge her brilliance. Directed by Mimi Leder, the film is pretty straightforward, with a head-strong performance by Felicity Jones as Ginsberg. She captures her tenacity, her stubborn streak, her humanity. We see a three-dimensional character here, and in the end we love her more. I am not going to say I knew every bit of this case, so I was ‘in’ on its suspense, and silly me even cried at the outcome. It’s all very satisfying. Everything else in the movie is just an accessory to her character. Armie Hammer – delicious looking as always  – plays her husband and merely serves as foil for Ruth to be more human, though there are more colorful turns, like Kathy Bates playing Dorothy Kenyon (she give a memorable small performance here)  It can sometimes feel very by-the-book, but it’s a meaningful book, so no complaints.

 

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