In her 25 years on the Supreme Court bench, Justice Ginsburg’s championing of LBGTQ rights, gender and racial workplace equality, and reproductive rights have endeared her to a new generation who have dubbed her “Notorious RBG.” Her trailblazing cases are studied in law schools, her famous face is now emblazoned on merchandise, in memes and even tattoos. She is affectionately parodied by Kate McKinnon on Saturday Night Live and a new feature film On the Basis of Sex sees Felicity Jones portray Ginsburg in her early career. Not many people will find themselves having a pop culture moment in their eighties but RBG is no ordinary woman.
The affection directors West and Cohen have for Justice Ginsburg is evident in every frame. This is not a searing character study, it’s a love letter to the woman who fought to improve the rights of women and minority groups in the US for five decades. It’s a vibrant portrait of a woman whose legend will live on long after she hangs up her judge’s robe. RBG was a surprise box office smash in the US last summer, capturing the imagination of audiences despite the deluge of blockbusters movies. Perhaps RBG is a superhero after all.