Before we get into this review, I just want to say something. This movie is basically a debate that was very controversial not so long ago. It’s almost like it’s an appetizer for the 2016 US Presidential Election. Anyway, onto the review.
“Denial” is a film directed by Mick Jackson, and stars Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, and Timothy Spall. The film is based on true events revolving around acclaimed historian and writer Deborah E. Lipstadt. She’s talking at an event having to do with the holocaust when she finds a holocaust denier in the audience. The two begin arguing, and suddenly David Irving, the holocaust denier sues Deborah for libel, therefore setting the stage for the film’s upcoming events, including determining the answer to this question: “Did the holocaust really happen?”
I would like to say right now that I do believe the holocaust happened, you can say what you want about it, but this is my thought. However I am going to leave my thoughts on it out of the review keeping them as a separate topic. Just thought I’d get that out there.
Deborah E. Lipstadt is played by Rachel Weisz and I have to say she did a fine job in the movie. Now, it’s October, and all of the movies going for awards are starting to come out, with that in mind, I do think Rachel did well, but I don’t think it was enough to win awards, but we’ll have to see what the rest of the year brings. If there aren’t too many great actress performances for the rest of year, Weisz in my mind will probably have a chance to at least get a lot of nominations.
Tom Wilkinson is also in this movie and I barely remember his character. Although for what I do remember it was interesting to see what he did during the movie. The final product does a good job at displaying chemistry between him and Weisz’s character. However the movie does already lose points for me not remembering his character much.
You also have Timothy Spall as David Irving. I was really intrigued with his character throughout the movie and seeing him in the courtroom against Deborah was overall one of the most interesting parts of the film. It was much like the beginning of the movie, which did an excellent job at displaying the rivalry between the Deborah and David. There’s only one thing I don’t like about his character, and that has to do with how the character is treated. At the end of the movie, he tries to say to his opponents that they fought well in court, but they don’t say anything back. I get David is villainized in the flick, but it just doesn’t feel right. If that actually happened in real life I wouldn’t know, but if it didn’t, this wouldn’t be something I would have thought of. It took this movie from having a ending that was going to be solid, then it went a bit downhill.
If I had any other flaws for the movie, it would be the pacing. I felt like there was a lot of time spent in the court room, and too little time investigating evidence outside the court. Granted the movie is basically a court case movie, but I would have liked it better if they fleshed out a bit more on scenes outside the court. If the events of the actual story affect what I said then forget about it, but if there was anything missing, I would have liked to see it outside the court.
In the end, I wanted to like the movie, but I also wanted to leave. Did I think this movie was an absolute abomination against humanity? Nope. Although it had the pacing of “Hail, Caesar!” another movie I saw this year. Based the content of both films and pacing, if I choose one movie to watch again between this and “Hail, Caesar!” I’d choose “Hail, Caesar!”. With that in mind, I’m giving “Denial” a 5/10. This movie had potential, but I left feeling unsatisfied. If this movie were maybe a little shorter and some of the court scenes were trimmed more, I may have ended up giving this movie a higher rating. Also on the note of things I consider broken, I don’t like the final ending shot. I don’t know it’s just not something I would prefer having in this movie. Stay tuned for more upcoming reviews and check out my latest reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!