Director Mimi Leder and writer Daniel Stiepleman’s film “On the Basis of Sex” doesn’t start off with it, but the case it’s based on, that of Charles Moritz, a single man who has been denied a tax deduction for spending his life taking care of his elderly mother, is the centerpiece. Chris Mulkey as Moritz, by the way, is excellent.

After dancing toward the legendary case for an hour, we finally get to the big moment — the case that made history. You can Google that case and go to see “On the Basis of Sex.” I won’t tire you with it here.

Before we get to the trial, which plays out like a standard television law show, Leder takes us on a slow dance through the early years of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s painful initiation into the manly world of American jurisprudence — especially the part where one has to battle the chainmail-suited dinosaurs who taught it and controlled it — in order to get the requisite education to do battle in court. Fine. That part, with a splendid job by Sam Waterston as the racist, sexist Harvard dean, was well done.

Which brings us to something that bothered me throughout. Where is Ruth? Where is her husband Marty? Where, in this HBO special, is the courageous young Jewish couple?

In the film, Felicity Jones and Armie Hammer appear on screen looking like an Episcopalian couple from Shaker Heights, Ohio. Both are not terrible actors, just here, as vapid mannequins.

Digging around to see if there was anyone out there of like-mind, I came across an article by Anna Miriam, an NYC-based public interest attorney and web-series writer, who penned a piece for an online magazine caled “ALMA.”

I’m not Jewish, and despite my feelings, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on this. So I give you Miriam’s comments:

“I’m not okay,” she writes, “with Felicity Jones playing Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Jones, with her fine features and her awkward American accent, beautiful, perfectly manicured and erasing any trace of Ginsburg’s roots. …

Anyone who has ever heard Justice Ginsburg recount a conversation she had with her granddaughter (who refers to her as “Bubbe”) knows that this is not just your average Brooklyn accent; it’s a Jewish Brooklyn accent, the kind of accent born out of the Jewish Russian immigrant experience. … And yet, any trace of her Jewish identity — from her accent to her face — is erased in the casting of Felicity Jones in the role. This should be pissing people off.”

Miriam goes on to say that Ginsburg grew up “with identifiably Ashkenazi Jewish features at a time when it was not easy being Jewish in her professional field or in society in general.” Robbing RBG’s character of these features means the story loses something, Miriam writes, yearning instead to see a portrayal of someone “hard-headed, trail-blazing, beautiful and Jewish.”

I’m betting that my beautiful old Jewish friends and families in Brooklyn — Freddie Blackman, Sid Edelstein, Joya Feldman, Bernie Goldman — if they are alive and well today, would agree.

But in “On the Basis of Sex,” we are given a Hollywood-sanitized film about the very Jewish Ruth Bader Ginsburg in full color with British actor Felicity Jones.

Okay, no one insists that a filmmaker should spend months trying to find a real Jewish girl to play a Jewish woman, even though Natalie Portman was considered for the role.

And after all, Swedish actor Ingrid Bergman played the great Jewish leader Golda Meir in “A Woman Called Golda,”( looking exactly like Golda) but British Felicity Jones as a girl born and raised as a Jew in Flatbush?

The best thing I can say about “On the Basis of Sex” is that the costumes are authentic.

Someday, maybe a better film, more fitting to honor Supreme Court Justice RBG will be made. This isn’t it.

J.P. Devine, of Waterville, is a former stage and screen actor.

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