On the Basis of Sex opens at the Dendy Newtown next Thursday Feb 7th. I’ll be first in line. This is not because this bio pic – about the early years in the life of Ruth Bader Ginsberg – has had the greatest reviews ( read below) its because her story is so important.
Here is what the reviewers had to say…. Richard Brody, writing for New Yorker, opines: “The movie, written by Daniel Stiepleman, sacrifices character for intricate, and often fascinating, behind-the-scenes legal manoeuvres, and emphasises, above all, the role of social activism.”
Benjamin Lee of The Guardian offers an equally middling review: “On the Basis of Sex is a solid, often impassioned film, but too often its worst instincts take over, and cliches stack up faster than legal documents. Ginsburg’s legacy will endure, but it’s questionable as to whether this film will survive with her.”
Roger Ebert’s Nell Minow was more positive about the biopic, praising the chemistry between Jones and Amie Hammer (Martin D Ginsburg), and director Mimi Leder: “Director Mimi Leder has an eye for telling detail and a sure sense of pacing, especially in the scenes with the Ginsburg’s teen-age daughter Jane (Cailee Spaeny), whose own spirited feminism shows her mother that it is time for the law to catch up with the culture.”
Why we should all be offering our ribs to Ruth Bader Ginsburg Likewise, Time praise the duo but called the film flawed: “This well-intentioned movie is a somewhat flawed one: its pace is a little slack, and sometimes it feels too predictably prepackaged. But Jones and Hammer keep the picture moving even through its shakier phases.”
The Hollywood Reporter is more damning: “The dramatic approach here is clear, efficient and entirely on-the-nose, with little time for anything that might distract from the hagiographic effort in play. Its sole purpose is to ennoble and proclaim a hero, which its subject almost certainly is. But it makes for notably simplified drama.”
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