DVD Review: Denial

Really, British legal system?

Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) is a professor and historian living in Atlanta, GA. She publishes a book about Holocaust denial and in it, she calls a spade a spade and refers to a man named David Irving (Timothy Spall) as a denier. He in turn, sues her for libel in England where she's forced to prove that SHE is the correct one because that's how the legal system works. Luckily for her, she has two very competent lawyers, Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson) and Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott) to guide her along the way.

This is based on a true story and immediately grabbed my interest. I wrote a lengthy paper on Holocaust deniers in high school after encountering one and being baffled that these people actually exist. I wish I could remember the books I referenced in that paper. I almost wonder if Lipstadt's was one of them. 

The film's strongest moments are in the courtroom. Before the trial happens, I found the dialogue to be kind of stilted. It was like the plot fumbles along until it finds its purpose in court. That's where the movie sticks, but not enough to make it extraordinary.

The acting is great. Weisz plays Deborah very well (and apparently nails her accent if you've met her) Timothy Spall was perfectly punchable as Irving. I just wish the film overall was better. It lacked something that I can't quite put my finger on.

Recommended: Sure, it's a decent DVD rental.

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "Is it the Diana thing?" - Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott)


  1. It's s shame this film lacked spark. This is an interesting (and infuriating) topic, and the cast is terrific.

    1. I know, I wish it was better since that topic is important to me personally. I'm glad I saw it on DVD vs in theaters, at least.

  2. This does sound quite interesting and I am also baffled how people could think the Holocaust never existed. My mom is German and. Remembered a Jewish man coming to their home right after the war. They gave him clothes and food that they had ( they were starving themselves since the Russians had marched in and was destroying all the crops and animals.... cats were known as roof rabbit). My father in Law came to a camp and remembers the mountain of shoes he saw. I visited a Jewish Halocaust museum when I was in Prague and it was sobering. Any person who thinks it doesn't exist should be shown the films and talk to survivors from that time including Germans.

    1. I don't get it either. I visited a concentration camp when I was in Germany on a school trip once. I've never felt more depressed in my life standing in a place where so many horrors happened. I'm shocked that people think it's fake.

    2. I went to the holocaust museum in DC, with my daughter, about 10 years ago. It's an amazing but emotionally draining experience. There is no question that the atrocities of the holocaust have been carefully documented. (Not to mention that fact that survivors are still with us.) But then again, we live in a world where people have dedicated untold hours to "proving" that the world is actually flat (the whole round earth thing is a government hoax). People's intentional ignorance is mind blowing.

    3. Yep. Now we live in the world of alternative facts. It's sad.

  3. Nice review! I've been meaning to watch this 'cause I'm a bit of a history buff for World War II. Weisz is such a good actress. I'll watch her in anything. :P


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