February 16, 2017
Showtimes: 6:30 & 8:30 pm
Director: Mick Jackson
Cast: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall
Runtime: 110 minutes
“Another illuminating performance by Rachel Weisz and a brilliant screenplay by the distinguished British playwright David Hare make Denial one of the most powerful and riveting courtroom dramas ever made.” —Rex Reed,
New York Observer
Best Film of the Year Nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards; Best Supporting Actor Nominations, Timothy Spall, Denver Film Critics Society
Denial is a true-life account of historian Deborah Lipstadt’s (Rachel Weisz) battle with Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall), who sues her for libel after characterizing him as such in a book she wrote.
It’s amazing to think that in the 21st century anyone could possibly deny the Holocaust happened but such was the case 10 years ago when a major court battle was fought in London where Lipstadt, a Jewish-American historian, was forced by British libel laws to prove the Holocaust actually happened..
Lipstadt’s battle with Irving, a self-taught historian known for his passionate defenses of Hitler, is highly compelling. It’s an excellent vehicle for Weisz, cast against type as the Queens-born Lipstadt. She expertly conveys Lipstadt’s outrage at her predicament, made worse when she’s essentially muzzled by her legal team as a tactic. She smolders as her integrity is questioned while Irving argues that the systematic extermination of Europe’s Jewish population by the Nazis never happened. Weisz conveys a whole range of emotion via looks alone, and her performance is masterful.
Just as good is Timothy Spall. Playing an absolutely venal character, he’s remarkably good, never playing Irving as a madman but rather more of a pathetic figure who’s riveting to watch. The always great Tom Wilkinson plays his sparring partner, LIpstadt’s barrister, who unnerves Irving, never making eye contact with him and treating him with disdain, off-putting his fragile ego..
Director Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard, TV’s Temple Grandin) stages the to-and-fro courtroom scenes capably and generates a chilling mood with an eerily hushed visit to Auschwitz.
Denial is solid adult entertainment, well-assembled and intriguing. The acting is great, the story is true, and it is really worth checking out.
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