All hail Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant be your own person, be independent.”
So said Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has been using her voice to shape the course of American history for over six decades. It makes absolute sense, then, that she’s the subject of Felicity Jones’ upcoming biopic, On The Basis of Sex.
As many will no doubt be aware, Ginsburg was nominated by US president Jimmy Carter to the US Court of Appeals in 1980, and then to the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton in 1993. When Justice Kennedy officially retired earlier this year, she became the court’s second longest-serving justice, just behind Clarence Thomas.
However, as detailed in the film, Ginsburg’s path to the Supreme Court was not easy. One of just nine female students matriculating at Harvard Law School back in 1956, Ginsburg came up against many obstacles – one of which was none other than Erwin Griswold, the dean of the Law School at that time, who pointedly asked her to share how it was that she justified taking a spot that would otherwise have gone to a man.
Shortly after this incident, Ginsburg transferred from Harvard to Columbia, where she graduated at the top of her class. But few law firms at that point had opened their doors to women, and despite glowing recommendations from several of her professors, none of them were able to secure her a clerkship with a federal judge.
The film follows her struggle to become a lawyer – and how she teamed up with her husband Marty (Armie Hammer) to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination.
Check it out:
Directed by Mimi Leder, the film sees Kathy Bates, Sam Waterston, Jack Reynor, Stephen Root, Cailee Spaeny and Justin Theroux star alongside Jones and Hammer.
It is due to be released on 4 January 2019
Image: Focus Features