On the Basis of Sex
Imagine being one of the towering judicial figures of your generation and having two dull, wimpy, blandly respectful, painfully unimaginative films made about you in the same year. Right on the dragging heels of Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s superficial and sycophantic documentary RBG comes On the Basis of Sex, a bleary-eyed book report of a biopic about the early years of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The flavorless, barely tolerable non-drama of On the Basis of Sex was probably intended as good-for-you movie medicine, but if this is the cure, I’ll take my chances with the disease. Granted, any great judge probably lives a generally undramatic life, but that only means that crafting great drama from that life requires filmmaking with the guts and fearlessness of a Ginsburg. Instead, TV veteran Mimi Leder (Pay It Forward) and first-time screenwriter Daniel Stiepleman deliver a pandering, simpering and simplistic treatment.