Fighting for what’s right. This is a fact that may be a surprise to some, but there are people out there that do not accept the fact that the Holocaust ever happened. Based on true events, this is about historian Deborah E. Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) going to court to defend her right to call David Irving (Timothy Spall) an asshole for renouncing the genocide that occurred during in World War II. Now I knew that there were people out there who believed in this, but I never really got an in depth study of it until this movie. For that, Denial succeeds in what it set out to do: it shines a light on a group of people that have the tendency to stick to the shadows.
It’s still pretty crazy to me that something of this nature got taken to court.
Now this is a subject that deserves its own soapbox, but what actually ended up being the most interesting part of the movie is seeing just how different the U.K. court system is from the United States. Stateside, it is innocent until proven guilty, but it doesn’t really work that way on the other side of the pond. The defense that Lipstadt and her legal team put together involves her speaking as little as possible in the courtroom, and that goes against who she is as a person. I think Weisz does a really good job at playing a character who is trying to hold her tongue when every fiber of her being is telling her to speak up. There is also an emotional charge to it, and you can tell that these actors personally care about the subject matter. A trip to Auschwitz puts further punctuation on the point.
It’s a solemn place that should always be treated with reverence.
I did like this movie for what it is, but I don’t feel that it ever moved me to the point of being a great movie, and I feel like most will share the same sentiment. It is a court room drama, and so much of this is simply about the legal proceedings. It is interesting and the acting is quality, but I do feel that it is missing that bite that makes it a timeless classic. If you are intrigued just by the plot description, sure, give it watch, and even if you weren’t, this will still hold your attention, but it is just a bit difficult to give an enthusiastic recommendation to.
Denial (2016) ***1/2
– Critic for Hire