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One Movie Punch

Jan 31, 2019

Hi everyone! 

She’s back! One Movie Spouse returns with a review that is a nice companion piece to the Oscar-nominated “RBG” (Episode #200). She’ll go into great detail comparing and contrasting the two in a little bit, but don’t forget to check out her first review for “Mary Poppins Returns” (Episode #380). And if you have any suggestions for her to review, let her know on Twitter @BriteWhen, and I’ll remind her to check her account.

Take it away, Amy!


Hi there! 

It’s me, Amy, aka One Movie Spouse, back for another guest review.


Today’s movie is “On the Basis of Sex” (2018), the Universal Pictures biopic directed by Mimi Leder and written for the screen by Daniel Stiepleman. The film chronicles the early years of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her evolution as a powerhouse lawyer, making strides to challenge gender-based discrimination within the law.

No spoilers.

There’s been a lot of news lately surrounding the Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “RBG”, the documentary from last year, recently picked up a couple Oscar nominations, with its wonderful overview of her life and career. Justice Ginsburg has also been struggling with medical issues, even if they didn’t seem to hold her back for long. And now, we have today’s film, which not only works as an excellent companion piece to the documentary, but also serves as an excellent standalone film, focusing in on RBG’s pathway to becoming a lawyer, attending law school, graduating as one of the nine women in her law class, and struggling to find the right cases to bring to the Supreme Court to overturn gender discrimination written into law.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is played by Felicity Jones, who captures her struggle to be taken seriously, showing her tenacity in overcoming sexism, her passion for equality and justice, and her ability to balance her many personal and family roles in her career. At her side is her husband, Marty, played by Armie Hammer, who plays a strong, supportive spouse with a zest for life and a great sense of humor. Their dynamic relationship worked to support each other’s career aspirations, and served as a living example to challenge contemporary gender roles and stereotypes. And their own daughter Jane, played by Cailee Spaney, reminded me very much of my own daughter, full of motivation, questioning authority, thinking beyond herself, and ready to change the world. A family dynamic to aspire towards.

The film carries the viewer through this journey with the help of a great script and direction. The costumes transplant you back in history, bringing authenticity to their frustrations and joys. You might gasp or snicker at how different life was back then, or be frustrated at the arguments for “keeping women in their place” made by judges during her cases. We may have come a long way since then, but we are still facing gender inequality today, which is why I participated in the Justice for All March this month. I left the event fired up and ready for action, just as I left today’s film inspired by RBG’s example. 

“On the Basis of Sex” (2018) is a great biopic depicting the early life and career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If the documentary “RBG” wasn’t enough for you, then this film will give you even more. And if you know anyone that needs a history lesson in gender discrimination, tell them to give it a watch.

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Metacritic: 60

One Movie Punch: 8.0/10

“On the Basis of Sex” (2018) is rated PG-13 and is available in theaters!