A 2018 biopic detailing the early life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg focusing on her entry to Harvard Law School and her marriage to Martin Ginsburg.
2018, 1080p, DTS-MA Audio 5.1, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, Rated PG-13, 2 hours
Starring: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Jack Reynor, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Stephen Root, Cailee Spaeny
Directed by: Mimi Leder
I found the movie inspiring, especially about Justice Ginsburg’s rise in her early career, something I knew nothing about.
The film begins in 1956, when young Ruth (Felicity Jones) has just married Martin Ginsburg (Armie Hammer) and had their first child. Ruth is just beginning her career as a first-year law student at Harvard, where she is one of six women accepted in a class of hundreds of men.
We see her struggles to gain respect and I imagine it was tough in those non-liberated years. The film is ‘based on a true story’ so it’s hard to tell what’s historical and what’s not. I did feel that the script writing was nodding to our recent #metoo movement, and some scenes were meant to make us think of more recent history.
Still, the movie was not too heavy handed and Felicity Jones was an absolute joy to watch as she moves from Harvard student to a college teacher and to her big case with the ACLU trying to overturn sex discrimination laws that were biased and out of date. There’s a good scene as her brief for the Appellate Court is being typed up, and the legal secretary suggests the word sex is used too much and the word gender should be substituted. It’s a subtlety missed by whomever titled the movie.
There are other fine acting turns by Sam Waterston and Justin Theroux.
The movie was shot on video rather than film. The image is clear although the colors are somewhat muted, which I’m sure was the choice of the director evoking the period. Audio is not a surround showcase, the movie is mainly dialogue, but there are some subdued environmental effects.
A Supreme Team: Making On The Basis of Sex – A behind-the-scenes look at how filmmakers and director Mimi Leder brought the story to the screen.
Legacy of Justice – A biographical look into Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and how she came to be a Supreme Court Justice.
Martin and Ruth: A Loving Partnership – Interviews with the cast as they explore the importance of the relationship between Martin and Ruth.