Felicity Jones is looking to make a monumental ruling on Oscar season in the first trailer for Focus Features’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic On the Basis of Sex.
Released just under one month shy of the 25th anniversary of Ginsburg assuming her role as a Supreme Court justice on Aug. 10, 1993, the trailer for On the Basis of Sex previews the film’s deep dive into the 85-year-old’s early life as an aspiring game-changer for gender politics in the United States — with a particular emphasis on a specific, groundbreaking case she, as a young lawyer, brought before the U.S. Court of Appeals that laid the foundation for her lasting legacy of overturning decades of discrimination.
With support from her husband, Marty (Armie Hammer), Ginsburg (Jones) maneuvers her way through seemingly insurmountable obstacles to spearhead the landmark case, which drew skepticism and notable gender bias with a woman leading the charge.
“We’re not asking you to change the country. That’s already happened without any court’s permission,” Ginsburg says before the court. The judge observes: “The word ‘woman’ does not appear even once in the U.S. Constitution,” to which Ginsburg responds: “Nor does the word ‘freedom,’ your honor.”
Also starring Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, and Sam Waterston, the “story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg resonates… on so many levels – from the inspiring partnership she found in her marriage, to overcoming adversity as a woman and discovering the strength of her own voice, to her empathetic commitment to those in need of a voice no matter their gender, race, status or religious beliefs,” according to director Mimi Leder in a statement released at the start of the project’s production last year. “In these tumultuous times, stories like this speak to the heart of humanity and remind us what it means to lead with love and compassion as the way forward.”
On the Basis of Sex—written by Ginsburg’s nephew Daniel Stiepleman—hits theaters Dec. 25, though it is widely expected to make an Oscar-positioning showing on the fall festival circuit — with Focus likely throwing particular weight behind Jones’ lead performance as a contender in the best actress category. Until then, watch the film’s first trailer above.