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Denial (2016)

Directed by Mick Jackson

Based on the book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier by Deborah Lipstadt

Screenplay by David Hare

Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall, Andrew Scott

Historian and author Deborah Lipstadt (Weisz) finds herself in a court battle over her statements against David Irving (Spall), a renowned Holocaust denier.

This film is a dramatization of Irving vs Penguin Books Ltd, originally told by Deborah Lipstadt in her book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier. The screenplay was written by David Hare (The Hours), and the film was directed by Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard). The cast includes Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), Tom Wilkinson (Selma), and Andrew Scott (Spectre).

The real story behind this film is a fascinating and complex one. This gave David Hare a lot to work with in addition to the book by Deborah Lipstadt. Hare does a nice job finding a great moment for the story to begin. This scene is powerful, and it sets the tone of the entire movie. The dialogue throughout the movie is great. Since much of the movie takes place in office and court settings, the film relies on the dialogue to be stimulating and quickly paced. The characters are also nicely written, providing much-needed depth. The film doesn’t quite depict the broader impact that the events had, but it provides a nice story told through some key events.

The cast in this film really delivered on a tough story. Rachel Weisz continues to do great work with her portrayal of Deborah Lipstadt. Her intensity and emotional depth really come out throughout this one. She plays opposite the incredible Timothy Spall. Spall delivers an emotional and intense performance of his own in this one. Their performances are a product not only of their skill, but the dialogue written for this one. Tom Wilkinson also does great work playing a role that feels like it was written with him in mind. Andrew Scott is just one of the many other actors who brought nice work into this one. The cast definitely benefited from a good script, and their performances are worth watching.

This movie was filmed on location in London and at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. The camera work and other visual elements are all solid throughout this one. The movie also uses the visuals to highlight the tones of each scene nicely. The sound work is also good, including a nice score composed by Oscar winner Howard Shore (Spotlight). This might have flown under the radar, but it’s one worth checking out. Fans of the stars should make sure to see this one. I would also suggest this to fans of films like Spotlight since this highlights a series of real events with great drama. I give this one 3.7 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 109 Minutes


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