The second trailer for On the Basis of Sex further shines the spotlight on Felicity Jones' performance as a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Director Mimi Leder's biopic only just had its world premiere at the 2018 AFI Fest, ahead of its Oscar-qualifying limited rollout on Christmas Day.
On the Basis of Sex was written by Daniel Stiepleman (a relative newcomer) and explores the early days of Ginsburg's pre-Supreme Court legal career - specifically, the landmark gender discrimination case that she argued in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals, back in the early 1970s. Jones is joined in the cast by Armie Hammer, Kathy Bates, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Callum Shoniker, and Cailee Spaeny (Bad Times at the El Royale) as Ginsburg's daughter Jane. The actual "RBG" also makes an appearance in the movie, which arrives in time to commemorate her 25-year anniversary as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Having released the first On the Basis of Sex trailer all the way back in mid-July, Focus Features and Participant Media have unveiled a second trailer to capitalize on the heightened buzz around the film (following its AFI Fest premiere). The new promo also includes a preview of Kesha's original song for the movie, "Here Comes the Change". Check it out in the space below.
While the new trailer doesn't include any pull-quotes from early reviews, the critical response to On the Basis of Sex at AFI Fest was positive overall. At the same time, most critics seem to agree that the movie (as this trailer suggests) is a pretty by the numbers historical drama and even has a somewhat dated outlook towards certain relevant social issues. It doesn't help that Julie Cohen and Betsy West's Ginsburg documentary RBG was a critical success when it hit theaters earlier this year. That puts all the more pressure on Leder's biopic to offer a fresh and insightful take on Ginsburg's life - one that goes beyond what a formulaic Hollywood memoir would have to offer.
Still, despite the mixed to positive word of mouth, On the Basis of Sex may yet manage to draw a respectably-sized crowd at the box office. There's a fair chance older moviegoers in particular will turn out for this one as it expands nationwide throughout January, even as things inevitably slow down after the winter holiday rush. Aaron Sorkin's memoir Molly's Game became a modest financial success using a similar release strategy at the start of this year, and Leder's biopic could easily follow suit in 2019. Indeed, save for the December leftovers, On the Basis of Sex won't have any real competition until Glass arrives next year.
- On the Basis of Sex (2018) release date: Dec 25, 2018