Mimi Leder biography

On the Basis of Sex Director

Mimi Leder

Date of Birth: 1952

Born in New York City but raised in Los Angeles, Mimi Leder attended Los Angeles City College and was the first woman accepted as a cinematography student at the American Film Institute. Leder made the transition from cinematographer to director after working for six years as a script supervisor. Her short film, Short Order Dreams, served as a calling card and got the attention of Steven Bochco and Greg Hoblit, who hired her to direct an episode of L.A. Law.

After working for two seasons as director/producer on China Beach, where she met and worked with writer/producer John Wells, Leder took a break from episodic TV and directed numerous television movies and dramatic pilots. It was Wells who lured her back to full-time work by offering her the opportunity to become one of a handful of core directors for an offbeat Warner Bros. production he was writing and co-executive producing < a show that, according to the conventional wisdom of the time, wasn't expected to last through its first season. The show was called ER.

Picked personally by Steven Spielberg, Leder's first feature film was the action-adventure The Peacemaker, which was also Dreamworks' first release. Spielberg was familiar with Leder since Amblin, his other company, produced ER, for which she went on to win two Emmys.

Starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, The Peacemaker was followed up by Deep Impact , one of summer 1998's summer hits that focused on a comet on a collision course to Earth. After directing two action movies, Leder was looking for something more personal. That was Sentimental Journey (1999), an epic love story about her mother and father set in WWII.

She steered clear of action again with Pay It Forward (2000). Starring Haley Joel Osment, Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, the film revolves around a boy who wants to make the world a better place.

Mimi Leder Filmography


On the Basis of Sex

Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  120 min.
Release Date:
December 25, 2018 - Toronto
January 11, 2019 - Wide
DVD: April 9, 2019
Blu-ray: April 9, 2019
Digital: March 26, 2019

Current rating: Rating: 4.13
based on 98 votes and 33 reviews
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Cast: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Kathy Bates, Sam Waterston, Cailee Spaeny