'On the Basis of Sex': didactic, soapy, and doting

Onze score

Is Europe also waiting for a Hollywood biopic about The Notorious RBG? That is not the name of a hip-hop legend, but of one of the justices of the Supreme Court of the United States: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Veteran director Mimi Leder tells the story of how and why she became a feminist icon and giant of jurisprudence. After a painful period at the sexist Harvard University, she graduated joint top of her class at the Columbia University. In the early 1960s, none of the big law firms would hire her because she was a woman.

Supported by her husband and opposed by almost every other man she encountered, the clever idealist threw herself like a force of nature into the denunciation of a discriminating law. This accessible and fast-paced film impresses for the way it presents legal debate about tax law and the complexities of the American legal system to general, non-specialist audiences.

The fine performance from the passionate Felicity Jones (the British actress from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) is central to this achievement. The downside is that On the Basis of Sex becomes rather didactic, soapy, and doting. This film never completely satisfies those with a genuine interest in RBG.

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