On The Basis Of Sex- Karl Sides (the Flick Fanatics)



Felicity Jones: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Armie Hammer- Martin Ginsburg

Kathy Bates- Dorothy Kenyon

Justin Theroux- Mel Wulf

Felicity Jones brings the struggles and fights for equality by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the new biopic “On the Basis of Sex”.

Director Mimi Leder (Shameless) with her first big screen project brings the story of lawyer/professor of sexual equality Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the big screen in the new biopic “On the Basis of Sex”. Felicity Jones takes on the lead role with Armie Hammer as her husband Martin.

Ruth Ginsburg is one of nine ladies invited to attend Harvard Law School with a class of 500 men that includes her husband Martin. According to Dean Griswold this is something new Harvard is trying, and then asked the girls to introduce themselves and explain why they are there “taking the place of a man?” Ginsburg took exception to this and proceeded to become the best student in her class even though she was continually passed over for opportunities to participate in class. Ginsburg was married with a baby girl and had to manage the family with her studies.

Ruth’s task was compounded when her husband Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer, forcing Ruth to attend her classes as well as her husbands’. Martin beat the illness after numerous surgeries and graduated from Harvard and was hired to a successful firm in New York City where he would practice tax law. Ruth asked Dean Griswold if she could complete her degree in New York at Columbia University, only to be told no.  Ginsburg did graduate with degrees from both Harvard and Columbia only to find the job market just as cold toward her as school was. The only job Ginsburg could get was a professor at Rutgers university teaching equality in the law and sexual discrimination. This job did allow Ruth to practice law on whatever cases she wanted to take, she was a “free agent”!

One such case came to her from Martin with a man being denied a caregiver tax credit for not being a woman. It was presumed that men would be the earners and woman the caregivers, but Charles Moritz (Chris Mulkey) never married and chose to stay home and care for his elderly mother in leu of placing her in a home. Ruth took the case and recruited her friend Mel Wulf at the ACLU to sign of on the brief and lend credibility to it. Ruth also had the support of Dorothy Kenyon, a pioneer in sexual equality law who told Wulf to take the case!

The Ginsburgs with Wulf found themselves in court against a legal team that had familiar faces in it with Dean Griswold and Professor Brown (Stephan Root) advising an up and coming lawyer Jim Bozarth (Jack Reynor) from their alma mater. Bozarth unwittingly did all the leg work for Ruth pulling the 173 laws that reflected sexual inequalities between men and women, this would backfire on him and give Ruth Bader Ginsberg a road map to changing the way the world would look at women.

On the Basis of Sex is a fabulous biopic featuring Felicity Jones in the lead role of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a gritty lawyer, mother and eventual Supreme Court Justice in Washington. Armie Hammer provides a perfect supporting role as Ginsburg’s husband Martin. I was very impressed by Cailee Spaeny who played the role of Jane Ginsburg who would battle toe to toe with her mother before doing it side by side with Ruth in the turbulent times of the 60’s. On the Basis of Sex is a must See Film!!!!


Flickanalysis: 5/5 gavels

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