Based on the acclaimed book "History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier," DENIAL recounts Deborah E. Lipstadt's (Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz) legal battle for historical truth against David Irving (Cannes Award winner Timothy Spall), who accused her of libel when she declared him a Holocaust denier. In the English legal system in Defamation, the burden of proof is on the accused, therefore it was up to Lipstadt and her legal team to prove the essential truth that the Holocaust occurred. Also starring two-time Academy Award nominee Tom Wilkinson, the film is directed by Emmy Award winner Mick Jackson ("Temple Grandin") and adapted for the screen by BAFTA and Academy Award nominated writer David Hare (THE READER). Producers are Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff.Written by
Twice in the movie Deborah Lipstadt is shown out jogging in London whereupon she stops to gaze upon the statue of "Boadicea and Her Daughters" on Westminster Pier. Boadicea was famous as a warrior queen who led an unsuccessful uprising against the Romans. See more »
The wrong BBC logo (1997) is used in the 1996 section of the film along with the wrong Channel 5 logo (2011) in the 2000 section. When Deborah Lipstadt is running, she passes a Clinton storefront (2012) also in the 2000 section. See more »
What did you think, Anthony?
What did I think? I thought it was the most boring morning we've had in court so far.
My God, you love to be contrary.
Well, the man's an anti-Semite and a racist. It's like having shit on your shoe. You wipe it off. You don't study it.
See more »
For Denial, the most shocking thing about this film was that it was made in 2016. Everything about the camera work is so bland and uninspired at introducing Professor Deborah Lipstadt that if enough context was removed this film could literally be about any female professor that's liked by her students.
The initial barrage of Professor Lipstadt's routine is a series of extremely bland cuts from organically lit shot to organically lit shot, and in that barrage the blandness emerges. The trope of the beloved professor is so shoehorned in to create a character for Prof. Lipstadt that I feel completely alienated from the character at large. Denial's pacing alone is so bizarre at jumping to the lawsuit that I'm wondering why I should care about a story fighting Nazism. Jackson feels as though he's done enough to make me empathize with Prof. Lipstadt by showing me at the 14 minute mark how she'll be fighting an uphill legal battle. Around the 19 minute mark, Jackson choses to actively waste our time with an extremely unoriginal rainy London sequence to establish that she has arrived, and even though it's a minute long it's failure of purpose makes it stand out so belligerently. Rachel Weiss' acting as Lipstad feels so inorganic that I am completely skeptical and extremely bored by lines meant to be inspirational as "my mother always said there was gonna be an event. That I was picked out, I was chosen well here it is." (16:01) That alone is one of many lines that seems to have been taken verbatim from a book. Denial at large is a very aggressively okay film, and at large it seems as though the only thing it's missing is commercial breaks. A quick look through Denial's director's past works shows that the vast majority of his experience prior to his 2016 film is in television. Denial's entire goal of presenting an uphill battle for truth against hate, with it's recurring shots of stairs among other grandiose imagery of rising above, fails so spectacularly entirely because of it's pacing and strange dipping in and out of Documentarian nature.
If a film tells me that it's "based on true events" then why on earth is it showing me meaningless dates and times? Saying your movie is "based on true events" is the most blatantly lazy form of opening a film beyond subtitles showing location and narration, which this film also does. Denial if anything seems in denial of the fact that it's not an HBO series, but a film.
43 of 85 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this