Denial: Film Review

Directed by Mick Jackson (L.A. Story; The Bodyguard) and starring Stars: Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener; The Deep Blue Sea; The Mummy; The Lobster; The Bourne Legacy), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; The King's Speech; The Damned United; Alice in Wonderland), Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol; The Grand Budapest Hotel) and Andrew Scott (Price; Saving Private Ryan; Swallows and Amazons; Spectre; Locke; Sherlock (tv series)).

Drama; 109 mins; 12+

A powerful drama that recalls the true story of the libel action British historian David Irving (Timothy Spall) took against American author Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) and her publishers, in which he discredited her book which addressed those who denied claimed that the Holocaust happened as there was no evidence to support claims that it did. She claims that he is purposefully manipulating historical fact to support his own anti-Semitic views

The publishers engaged a team of high-flying solicitors and barristers for Deborah Lipstadt, led by Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott) and Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson). while they did not have any massive falling out, there was tension in the air as she found it difficult to accept that they would not put her on the stand, nor would survivors of the Holocaust be called upon to give evidence. The argument the legal team put forward was that that was what David Irving wanted was to confront and debate with her and the survivors; they also put forward the argument to her for having the case heard by a single judge instead of by a jury.

The storyline also featured a trip to Auschwitz itself, where they researched the case, with the audience not necessarily understandign the significance of many small issues at the time, but which all came together to fit into the overall jigsaw towards the end of the film as the case culminated with the verdict being read out.

Rarely do a collective group of actors all portray their characters so convincingly, but in Denial they managed this, with Tom Wilkinson leading the charge as the lead barrister in the courtroom where much of the action happened. But this was not a courtroom drama, it was much more about understanding the intricasies of the law, including the differences in how the British and American legal systems operate, and if someone states something which they strongly believe to be true, but not be, does lack of intent mean that this is a lie, or not.

A very clever and compelling drama that was treated very delicately by the director, giving the topic and those affected by it the utmost respect.