Now Showing at Bay Theatre: ‘On the Basis of Sex’

BY JAMES GAGE | Reporter

The Supreme Court is Ruth-less. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is conspicuously absent from the Supreme Court Bench for the second week in a row, missing the first arguments of the new year.

It is the first time the 85-year-old Justice has missed oral arguments in her 25 years on the bench. Her absence has given rise to rumors about her health, though her medical staff have explained that she is recovering from early stage lung cancer surgery and that her absence is consistent with normal convalescence after a procedure of that kind.

Supreme Court Public Information Officer Kathy Arberg announced Friday, December 11, that Ginsburg will work from home as she recovers, and that her recovery is “on track.”

“On the Basis of Sex,” a film commemorating her rise to political greatness, was released December 25 and has been met with semi-positive critical reception. It expanded nationally last Friday and is currently screening at the Bay Theatre by Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas in Palisades Villages.

The film, penned by Ginsburg’s nephew, Daniel Stieplemen (directed by Mimi Leder) does not chronicle Ginsburg’s entire career arc, but instead narrows its focus from her early years at Harvard Law School to her rise to a professorship at Rutgers, and then Columbia to the first sex-discrimination case she argued in federal court, Frontiero v. Richardson, in 1973.

That case signified a turning point in American politics, as Ginsburg argued before the Supreme Court advocating for the application of gender discrimination as the concept applied to race discrimination, asking how women and men can become equals if laws “differentiate on the basis of sex.”

Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) is entertaining on screen, a decent homage to a personality that has transcended the political sphere and become a pop-cultural icon.

Ginsburg’s husband, Marty Ginsburg (Armie Hammer), plays the supporting and doting partner, though almost to a fault, comming off a tad insipid.

The cast also includes Kathy Baths as civil rights lawyer Dorothy Kenyon, Justin Theroux as the ACLU’s legal director Mel Wulf, Sam Waterson as Harvard Law School dean Erin Griswold and Cailee Spaeny as Ginsburg’s daughter Jane.

Ginsburg’s personal struggles with sexism at Harvard and Columbia are jarring and sobering to watch on screen, and reinforce the importance of including all voices and minds in the discussions that shape society.

For ticketing and showtime information, visit cinepolisusa.com/locations/cinépolis-luxury-cinemas-pacific-palisades or call 310-230-1457.