HER STORY: Felicity Jones stars in this biopic of United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

On the Basis of Sex

  • Drama-true story; Cert M, contains offensive language; 2hrs
  • Starring: Felicity Jones, Arnie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Jack Reynor, Kathy Bates, Sam Waterston, Stephen Root and Cailee Spaeny
  • Director: Mimi Leder

SUPREME Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has yet to vacate her position despite saying she would have done so by now. Perhaps it is due to the new film that celebrates her life.

Since breaking three ribs last November, the 85-year-old judge has also had two cancerous growths removed and missed Supreme Court hearings.

But in the story of her life, Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) portrays Ginsburg in her heyday as a young and impassioned lawyer.

Jones leads the story that focuses on Ginsburg’s early life with late husband and tax attorney Martin Ginsburg, played by Armie Hammer (Superman) and the one case they argued together in the 1960s, a landmark in outlawing discrimination based on sex.

On the Basis of Sex goes beyond just that one case. It is a testament to the heady early days of gender politics compared to the stark reality of contemporary conditions showing little change. It is also in recognition of a time when only nine out of the 500 students enrolled in Harvard Law School were women.

Non-political in its representation of history, the story keeps the gender equality argument at arm’s length, deciding instead to take the higher ground of Ginsburg’s overarching beliefs surrounding universal suffrage.

As one of the few liberal members of the United States Supreme Court, Ginsburg’s looming retirement will be one of three President Trump may face before the 2020 election.

As such, it will be a heatedly debated transition no matter whom is named leading contender for the position.

7/10

mark.rieder@thebeacon.co.nz