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
The Goethe-quote that was said by Richard Rampton is from Act 2, Scene 3 of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's 1790-play (which however premiered in 1807) named "Torquato Tasso" about the life of the Italian poet Torquato Tasso in 1577. This particular quote is said by the secretary of state, Antonio Montecatino, after a duel argument between him and Tasso. 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 »
Now, some people are saying that the result of this trial will threaten free speech. I don't accept that. I'm not attacking free speech. On the contrary, I've been defending it against someone who wanted to abuse it. Freedom of speech means you can say whatever you want. What you can't do is lie and expect not to be held accountable for it. Not all opinions are equal. And some things happened, just like we say they do. Slavery happened, the Black Death happened. The Earth is round, the ice caps...
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For reasons unknown, I chose to take a chance on this one and was quite humbled. Let me be 100% clear here in saying that I most certainly was not in the demographic with which this film likely intended.
Don't be deceived fellow viewers; this movie is very much both drama and suspense. And nothing more. But that's OK!
A Holocaust Denier from the United Kingdom represents himself in court to disprove the tragedy ever took place. A young Jewish American activist willingly takes it upon herself to go to court for the sake of history as well as Jewish people everywhere.
I enjoyed Rachel Weisz performance. Probably her most recent work in the 2015 Italian hit "Youth" comes to mind. Denial has shown Weisz is more than capable of carrying a motion picture on her own!
Timothy Spall plays the elder protagonist. With a healthy body of exemplary supporting performances, Denial has been no exception.
Tom Wilkinson is another strong addition to the cast, portraying a widely successful British lawyer named Richard Rampton, his performance quickly stole the show.
3. FINAL THOUGHT:
The material felt real and very tastefully done. Instead of hating Spall's character, I found myself feeling sorry for him. I sympathized as to the likelihood of just how truly awful a childhood some must have had to make such appalling claims.
The directors apparently have given a lot of thought into this film. This movie avoids the temptation to let the emotionally charged content dictate its direction. Smartly, they didn't get lost in the horrific details of what took place (because everyone knows just how awful it was AND many movies have done a great job covering this aspect).
It's always a good sign when the credits roll and your mind begins to reflect on what just took place over the last 109 minutes. I urge everyone to give it a chance. I enjoyed this one.
----- 7/10 STARS -------- Review by Searsino -----
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