Cast: Felicity Jones (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) Armie Hammer (Martin Ginsburg) Justin Theroux (Mel Wulf) Sam Waterston (Erwin Griswold) Kathy Bates (Dorothy Kenyon) Cailee Spaeny (Jane Ginsburg) Jack Reynor (Jim Bozarth) Stephen Root (Professor Brown) Chris Mulkey (Charles Moritz) Gary Werntz (Giudice Doyle) Francis X. McCarthy (Giudice Daugherty) Ben Carlson (Giudice Holloway) Ronald Guttman (Gerald Gunther) Wendy Crewson (Harriet Griswold) John Ralston (Tom Miller)
Musica: Mychael Danna
Costumi: Isis Mussenden
Scenografia: Nelson Coates
Fotografia: Michael Grady
Montaggio: Michelle Tesoro
Effetti Speciali: Mario Dumont (supervisore)
Makeup: Gina W. Bateman
Casting: Victoria Thomas
Scheda film aggiornata al:
23 Marzo 2019
Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Felicity Jones) è una delle nove donne ad entrare, nel 1956, al corso di Legge dell'Università di Harvard e che, nonostante il suo talento, fu rifiutata da tutti gli studi legali in quanto donna. Sostenuta dall’amore del marito Martin Ginsburg (Armie Hammer) e dall'avvocato progressista Dorothy Kenyon (Kathy Bates), accetta un controverso caso di discriminazione di genere. Contro il parere di tutti, Ruth vinse il processo, determinando un epocale precedente nella storia degli Stati Uniti sul fronte della parità dei diritti. Un tributo a una delle figure più influenti del nostro tempo, seconda donna a essere nominata Giudice alla Corte Suprema.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a first-year student at Harvard Law School. When her husband Martin, a second-year student, falls ill with cancer, she attends both her classes and his, taking notes and transcribing lectures while caring for Martin and their infant daughter Jane. Two years later Martin, his cancer in remission, is hired by a firm in New York. Ruth petitions Harvard Law School Dean Griswold to allow her to finish her Harvard law degree with classes at Columbia Law School in New York, but he insists on following Harvard University policies at the time and denies her request, so she transfers to Columbia. In spite of graduating at the top of her class, she is unable to find a position with a law firm because none of the firms she applies to wants to hire a woman. She takes a job as a professor at Rutgers Law School, teaching "Sex Discrimination and the Law".
In 1970, Martin brings a tax law case to Ruth's attention. Charles Moritz is a man from Denver who had to hire a nurse to help him care for his aging mother so he could continue to work. Moritz was denied a tax deduction for the nursing care because at the time Section 214 of the Internal Revenue Code specifically limited the deduction to "a woman, a widower or divorcée, or a husband whose wife is incapacitated or institutionalized". The court ruled that Moritz, a man who had never married, did not qualify for the deduction. Ruth sees in this case an opportunity to begin to challenge the many laws enacted over the years that assume that men will work to provide for the family, and women will stay home and take care of the husband and children. She believes that if she could set a precedent ruling that a man was unfairly discriminated against on the basis of sex, that precedent could be cited in cases challenging laws that discriminate against women—and she believes that an appellate court composed entirely of male judges would find it easier to identify with a male appellant.
Ruth meets with Mel Wulf of the ACLU to try to enlist their help, but he turns her down. She also meets with activist and civil rights advocate Dorothy Kenyon, who is cold to the idea at first but later meets with Wulf in his office and convinces him to sign on. Ruth then flies to Denver to meet with Moritz, who agrees to let the Ginsburgs and ACLU represent him pro bono after Ruth convinces him that millions of people could potentially benefit. The Ginsburgs and Wulf file an appeal of Moritz's denial with the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Department of Justice Attorney James H. Bozarth asks to be the lead counsel for the defense. He does a computer search to find all of the sections of the US Code that deal with gender identity. His defense will contend that, if section 214 is ruled unconstitutional, that will open the door to challenges to all of America's gender-based laws. Ruth, having no courtroom experience, does poorly in a moot court, and Wulf convinces her to let Martin lead off arguing the tax law, with Ruth following up with equal protection arguments.
The government offers Moritz a settlement of one dollar. Ruth makes a counter-proposal: the government will pay Moritz the sum he claimed as a deduction and make a declaration that he did nothing wrong, and also enter into the record that the gender-based portion of section 214 is unconstitutional. The government declines this proposal because of the constitutionality element. At the oral argument in the Court of Appeals, Martin takes more of their side's allotted time than he had intended. Ruth is nervous but makes several key points and reserves four minutes of her time for rebuttal. Bozarth frames his side's argument as defending the American way of life, implying that the Ginsburgs and ACLU want "radical social change" and maybe Moritz "just doesn't want to pay his taxes". In her rebuttal, Ruth is much more confident. She states that societal roles that existed one hundred years ago, or even twenty years ago, no longer apply. She does not ask the court to change society, but to keep the law up with social change that has already taken place. To a judge's objection that the Constitution does not contain the word "woman", she responds vigorously that neither does it contain the word "freedom".
Outside the courthouse, judgment being reserved, Wulf, Moritz and the Ginsburgs celebrate that, win or lose, Ruth has finally found her voice as a lawyer. Titles over the closing scene indicate that the Court of Appeals found unanimously in Moritz's favor. Ruth went on to co-found the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU, which struck down many of the gender-based laws Bozarth identified, and in 1993 the Senate voted 96 to 3 for her to become an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. The final scene shows the real-life Ginsburg walking up the steps of the Supreme Court building
Secondo commento critico (a cura di La parola al film)