The film “On the Basis of Sex” tells the story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the start of her career as a lawyer. The film is directed by Mimi Leder and written by Daniel Stiepleman. Felicity Jones stars as Ginsburg and the film follows her journey as a new mother as well as lawyer.
The movie focuses on Ginsburg trying to make the case that the law discriminates on the basis of sex through the tax case Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue. It follows her through the struggles and obstacle she has to go through as a woman, in what was seen as a man’s profession.
Jones delivers a powerful and strong performance as Ginsburg. Her performance portrayed the balance between motherhood and her career. The chemistry between her and Armie Hammer, who plays her husband Martin Ginsburg, was undeniable. Hammer’s performance was also amazing when the focus was on both him and Jones, and he shined without taking focus away from the subject of the movie. He commanded attention without being overpowering, and played the part of a supportive husband and partner well.
An actress who also shined was Cailee Spaeny as Jane Ginsburg, the daughter of Ruth and Martin. Although only playing a supporting role, the scenes she has are amazing. Jones and Spaeny are an interesting mother/daughter duo that added to the familial aspect of the movie.
The film’s storyline is cohesive and really thrilling to watch. Although it is very much about the law she practiced and her journey there, the core of the story is about Ginsburg as a person. The film is much more of a story of love and beating the odds, rather than a historical account of the case she presented to the court and the law she changed. However, this doesn’t take away from the greatness of the film, which is filled with beautiful performances and an important message.
The film was also cinematically beautiful. The different shots during the climactic scene of Ginsburg researching the case really represent the passion and spirit that she had for law.
Overall, the movie is amazing. It tells an important story about a woman that changed the way law is practiced and her extraordinary career that has several law precedents. The screenplay is well-written, and Jones plays Ginsburg beautifully. Jones and Hammer really drive the movie to be as good as it is.