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On the Basis of Sex (2018)

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The true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Director:

Mimi Leder
Reviews
Popularity
224 ( 41)

Felicity Jones Reveals Her Film Idols

On the Basis of Sex star Felicity Jones take our Take 5 challenge, and reveals the actresses and characters she looks up to.

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1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Felicity Jones ... Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Armie Hammer ... Martin Ginsburg
Justin Theroux ... Mel Wulf
Sam Waterston ... Erwin Griswold
Kathy Bates ... Dorothy Kenyon
Cailee Spaeny ... Jane Ginsburg
Jack Reynor ... Jim Bozarth
Stephen Root ... Professor Brown
Chris Mulkey ... Charles Moritz
Gary Werntz Gary Werntz ... Judge Doyle
Francis X. McCarthy ... Judge Daugherty (as Francis Xavier McCarthy)
Ben Carlson Ben Carlson ... Judge Holloway
Ronald Guttman ... Gerald Gunther
Wendy Crewson ... Harriet Griswold
John Ralston ... Tom Miller
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Storyline

The true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Her Story Made History See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 January 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

On the Basis of Sex See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$686,355, 30 December 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$24,622,687, 7 March 2019

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,348,761, 21 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The French title for the film is "Une Femme d'Exception" which translates to "An Exceptional Woman" See more »

Goofs

In the dinner scene, Erwin Griswold is seen tapping a glass full of wine. In reality, he and his wife did not drink and alcohol was never served in their house. See more »

Quotes

Jane Ginsburg: For whom, if not for me?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits include some "What happened to . . . " of the characters. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Steve Carell/Ella Mai (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Here Comes the Change
Written by Kesha, Drew Pearson, and Wrabel
Performed by Kesha
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Respectable, workmanlike biopic of Justice Ginsburg
26 December 2018 | by PotassiumManSee all my reviews

The education and early career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first woman to sit on the highest court in America, is captured in this film. It stars Felicity Jones as the young woman who attended Harvard Law School with her husband (Armie Hammer) and went on to become one of the preeminent legal minds of her era.

The film centers on how Ginsburg was initially instrumental and ultimately essential in an appellate case that helped pave the way for gender discrimination in federal law being eradicated. Along with her husband, she worked on the appeal with the ACLU, heralded by Mel Wulf (Justin Theroux), a liberal with complicated principles. Kathy Bates makes a nice turn as a famous, hardened civil rights litigator who failed in some earlier cases. Sam Waterston is a welcome presence as the outwardly progressive but inwardly parochial Erwin Griswold, Dean of Harvard Law during Ginsburg's years as a student.

Jones shines in the role of the young Ginsburg, a dedicated, steadfast attorney who was undaunted by the entrenched views on gender in academia, the workplace and ultimately in the courts. She spends most of the film grappling with these challenges but all the while never letting go of her core principles and dedication to the law.

Although this film occasionally lurches into Oscar bait territory, it makes for a good portrayal of a woman who became a true pioneer in the history of gender equality and a good starting point to get to know Justice Ginsburg from where she started. Recommended.


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