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Published February 3rd 2019
These laws are obstacles to our children’s aspirations
On the Basis of Sex is directed by multiple Emmy winner Mimi Leder and stars Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer.
On the Basis of Sex is a true story based on the life of the Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, also known as the Notorious RBG. The person who zealously fought for gender equality way before it became fashionable to do so.
We first meet Ruth (Felicity Jones) during her first year at Harvard Law. Wide-eyed and eager to dive into what she hopes to be the beginning of her career as a practising attorney representing clients in pursuit of justice. Whatever utopic ideas Ruth had are swiftly squashed as the Dean of Harvard Law School, Erwin Griswold (Sam Waterston), welcomes the nine female students with one desolating question. 'Welcome to Harvard Law School. Ladies, let's go around the table and report who you are, and why you're occupying a place that could have gone to a man?'
With the tone of her apparent future set, the story follows Ruth and her husband Marty, played by Armie Hammer, battle to win one revolutionary case that has the power to topple an entire system of discrimination.
'These laws are obstacles to our children's aspirations'.Ruth Bader Ginsburg
As Ruth takes on the unwinnable case, fueled by her unwavering belief that people have the right to achieve whatever they wish to achieve free from obstruction of gender stereotypes, you can't help but cheer her on. On the Basis of Sex does well depicting the struggles Ruth faced on all fronts, as she fought the good fight to bring change and justice to all. The film is really one to watch mostly because Ruth's story is completely inspirational. Women and men have always been equally able to achieve greatness in any field but thanks to Ruth, the law changed to allow it.
The actors did well lifting the story from the page, Ruth's feisty character particularly well played by Felicity Jones. Jones and Hammer have great onscreen chemistry. They are able to pull you in and truly make you feel for their characters. The supporting cast consists almost entirely on seasoned greats such as Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates and Justin Theroux. Ruth's daughter Jane, played by 21year old Cailee Spaeny, is also very good.
There were moments during the film that I could not stop shaking my head as I thought about all the progress made by trailblazers like Ruth. Gender equality was at the mercy of an outdated system ruled by a historical bias of a generation who were raised to believe men were better at math and women were too emotional to function. The beauty of equal opportunity is it creates room for knowledge, growth, vision and progressive thinking. A battle won lends hope for other battles of equality.
I believe Ruth Bader Ginsburg is someone worthy of your acquaintance. This film is entirely topical and its delivery is definitely movie ticket worthy. Head to your local cinema from Wednesday the 6th of Feb and grab your tickets!