Directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West, RBG highlights the road to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 1993 Supreme Court Appointment and the recent “fandemonium” surrounding this living, historic figure. The film features clips from Gisburg’s hearings, many pictures and video of her personal life, as well as commentary from family, friends, former colleagues and associates.
Ginsburg’s life plays out like a divine plan specifically designed for her in order to lead her to sit on the highest Court in the Land. There are some people for whom life simply works out and Ginsburg appears to be one of these people. Not that her life was without adversity, but everything that she experienced throughout the course of her personal life and career, including heartache and rejection, seemed to happen to serve a larger purpose. Ginsburg’s life is the perfect demonstration of the saying that success is where preparation meets opportunity, and when the opportunity arose, this woman was prepared.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dynamic and tough as nails without being loud, bossy, assuming or overbearing. She operates with such composure and drive, it is impossible she not be dubbed a hero after watching this film. Given her quiet demeanor, to attend and emerge from law school at a time when women becoming lawyers wasn’t even a consideration, and then go on and accomplish all she has accomplished, is praiseworthy, to say the least.
The thing I admire most about Ginsburg is the same thing I admire most about my own daughter; what I call her “charmed” work ethic. If I’ve never mentioned it (and I find it very hard to believe I haven’t up until now because I tell every person I meet, pretty much; at the supermarket, on the subway, at social events, at work, on the street, to acquaintances and random strangers alike… Give me an opening and I will slip it right into the conversation as casually as most people discuss the weather), I have a double Ivy Leaguer at home – Yale undergrad, Harvard Law School grad, about to take the bar exam next week! (No “luck” need be wished for the exam. Similarly to Ruth, this woman was built for this!). The thing I admire most and why I refer to the work ethic as “charmed” is because she achieves great things that most people consider daunting and makes them look effortless, despite there being much work behind the accomplishments.
RBG shows many elements and facets of Ginsburg’s life, her childhood and youth, her marriage, her parenting style from her children’s perspective, her drive and the adjustments she had to make throughout her education and career, her relationship with her granddaughter, her professional relationships, etc.; so, we get an in-depth picture of who Ruth is in all these different roles. Her most meaningful relationship with her late-husband is a love story for the ages. Every person should have such a powerful, unselfish support system. And you have not lived until you see an (then) 84 year old Ruth Bader Ginsburg working out!
The least interesting thing about this documentary for me was the entire “phenomenon” that has taken place in recent years with younger fans dubbing Ginsburg “The RBG”. I’m all for anything that sparks anyone’s interest in the law, politics and government, whether they be young or old, but these kids get just a tad annoying while acting as if they’ve discovered something new every time they find out about something that’s been around for what seems like forever, that they didn’t know about. (Do I sound old??? Oh well…) It was cute and all, and I understand clearly that this new-found fan base is what sparked the entire documentary. I get it. But I think Ruth’s story is certainly strong enough to stand on its own and I would have liked to have heard even more about her and from her. At an hour and 38 minutes, perhaps some filler was needed to get the film up to “feature film” length.
RBG earned 9 bloops out of 10. If you have an interest in the law or politics or have a budding lawyer or politician in your life, RBG is a must see. Even if you have no interest at all in any of the aforementioned, RBG is a great movie that is worth a watch due to her historical place in and impact on society. Ginsburg’s story is inspirational and gives great insight into the life of a woman who is worthy of much admiration.
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1 = worst ever, avoid at all cost
2 = very bad, forget about it!
3 = poor movie, not recommended
4 = not good, even for free – NO!
5 = so-so, worth it if you don’t have to pay
6 = not bad, could have been better
7 = good movie, worth seeing
8 = great movie, don’t miss it!
9 = excellent movie, a must see!
10 = a masterpiece, go see it now!
What I’m seeing/reviewing next…
Blindspotting – I snagged late preview tickets to see this Wednesday, so the review will be published by Thursday evening
Mama Mia! Here We Go Again – I really can’t believe I’m going to see this. Enjoyed the first one and they could have left it at that. It better be good!
Eighth Grade – I’ve already seen it and I can tell you right now, I didn’t love it as much as “the critics” or Rotten Tomato users seem to have. Who are these people?
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