ON THE BASIS OF SEX – Review by Diana Saenger

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When I received my DVD of On the Basis of Sex to watch for voting I thought oh no; another film about sex!

Right away I had a breath of fresh air when I realized it was a true story about how a young woman, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) changed USA history. During the 1950’s and 60s Ruth was one of the first females to enroll in Harvard Law School.

It’s not easy for Ruth to be in classes that are filled with males who don’t think a woman is right for this job. Luckily her husband Martin (Armie Hammer) is also attending Harvard and is there to support her. However she can’t deal with Dean Erwin Griswold (Sam Waterson) and his Sanctioned sexism and she enrolls in Columbia University.

Martin lands a job with a New York law firm and things are busy as Ruth graduates. Her focus is to promote gender equality in jobs as many women are not hired for jobs they can do.

With encouragement from Martin Ruth agrees to take a professorship at Rutgers. In 1972 she takes on a trailblazing case of Moritz V. (Chris Mulkey) Commissioner of Internal Revenue. Her husband joins her in representing Moritz and it becomes a real battle. Her opponents are laughing at her in court thinking her cuteness and beauty will not help her win the case. But Ruth is far beyond that.

The movie, written by Daniel Stiepleman and directed by Mimi Leder is intriguing and the cast of Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Kathy Bates, Justin Theroux, and Sam Waterson really bring this story to life. The film is an inspiring drama and already gaining award nominations. I really enjoyed learning about this true story and how hard Ruth worked for women’s rights and is a must see!

EDITOR’S NOTE: On The Basis of Sex is AWFJ’s Movie of The Week for January 4, 2019

On the Basis of Sex
Studio: Focus Features
Rating: PG-13 (for some language and suggestive content)
OUR Rating: B+
Who Should Go: Those who like true stories and great performances.

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Diana Saenger

Diana Saenger, entertainment editor of the East County Gazette, also reviews film and theater for San Diego Suburban newspapers, her Saenger Syndicate sites www.reviewexpress.com and www.classicmovieguide.com and others. A 2008 "Woman of the Year" for CA's 77th District, roving film historian and author of 3 books, she has interviewed more than 400 A-list celebrities and filmmakers.