“An Ordinary Film about an Extraordinary Life” 3 & ½ Stars.
This time last year Meryl Streep was being praised for her portrayal of an “important woman doing important things” as Katharine Graham, the first female publisher of a major American newspaper in Steven Spielberg’s The Post. Ultimately the film went home empty handed, despite 2 Oscar & 6 Golden Globe Nominations.
“On The Basis of Sex” is this year’s film about “important woman is doing important things” as Felicity Jones plays Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a key figure in the fight for women’s rights as we see her juggle a career in law with family life through the mid 20th century.
The film has not earned the critical acclaim of The Post, perhaps due to another film about the celebrated legal figure – RBG – being nominated for an Oscar for best documentary, or perhaps because it’s a bit of a conventional piece of storytelling about an unconventional life.
Ginsberg was one of just 9 females to attend Harvard Law School but when her husband, Armie Hammer fell ill she transferred to Columbia and after graduating she struggles be hired by any law firm because of her gender.
Fast forward to 1970 and Ginsberg takes on the US Federal Govt in a tax related court case fighting for a man discriminated against because of HIS gender.
It really is an incredible story, but the film is a pretty conventional biopic.