On the Basis of Sex

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

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This week Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg missed a hearing for the first time since 1993. She’s recovering from lung cancer surgery. The prognosis is good, we’re told.

The 85-year-old Ginsburg was the second woman ever to be appointed to America’s highest court. She says she does not plan on retiring anytime soon. She has hired law clerks for the term that extends into 2020.

Ginsburg has faced health problems in her past. She’s a two-time cancer survivor – colon cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009. In 2012, she fractured two ribs in a fall. In 2014, she underwent a procedure to have a stent implanted to open a blocked coronary artery. Now the lung cancer.

A tough little lady. We’re rooting for her continued good health.

An earlier documentary titled “RGB” celebrated the fact that the feisty little Justice is consider a “rock star” by her supporters. Now we have a feature film telling the story how she faced odds as a woman to reach the US Supreme Court.

“On the Basis of Sex” is story about Ginsburg’s battles for equal rights.

Felicity Jones stars as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You’ll remember the petite British actress from such films as “The Theory of Everything,” “Inferno,” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” You may think she’s too cute to play Ginsburg, but a look at photos of the younger RBG shows she was as pretty as she was smart. And she was very smart. Ot as a college classmate put it, “scary smart.”

Armie Hammer plays her supportive husband, the late Martin Ginsburg. Other cast members include Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Justin Theroux. And Stephen Root.

“On the Basis of Sex” is currently showing at Tropic Cinema.

The movie’s theme is succinctly summed up in an exchange between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a Judge.

Judge: “The word ‘woman’ does not appear even once in the US Constitution.”

Ginsburg: “Nor does the word ‘freedom,’ your Honor.”

The French title for the film is “Une Femme d’Exception,” which translates as “An Exceptional Woman.” We’d agree with that.

Email Shirrel: srhoades@aol.com

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