Starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkinson This indie style movie blends two of drama’s and settings a courtroom and Auschwitz. It becomes a cat-and-mouse game of conscience, a true story of one scholar exploiting Holocaust pain and another determined to prove him wrong. In 1996, Jewish history professor Deborah Lipstadt was sued for libel by revisionist historian David Irving, a fervent Holocaust denier, for calling him a Hitler apologist, among other things, in one of her books. Irving filed the suit in England machines to drive-ins while avidly absorbing “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Then he gets a huge order from a roadside restaurant in California, run by brothers Maurice and Richard McDonald. Intrigued, Kroc marvels at their mechanised fast-food operation, learning how they transformed their where the burden of proof lay with the defendant; guilty until proving yourself innocent. She must prove the Holocaust happened.
Lipstadt couldn’t in good conscience settle out of court, yet didn’t wish to give Irving a stage for his anti-Semitic rhetoric. Complicating matters was the fact that her best evidence, testimony from eyewitness Holocaust survivors wouldn’t be used. Irving would subject them to merciless cross-examination. Rachel Weisz plays Lipstadt as a vulnerable crusader, firm in her conviction that Irving isn’t just wrong, but purely evil about it. Timothy Spall nails that sense of hatefulness at first sight, with his rat like features and arrogant taunts. These adversaries are opposites on all counts, eyeing each other with different forms of disgust, one imperial, the other ready to take a swing at him.
While Irving serves as his own counsel, Lipstadt’s case is handled by Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson), a connoisseur of wine and arcane details, and Princess Diana’s former lawyer, Anthony Julius (Andrew Scott). She bristles under their cautious management, slower than viewers in realizing the courtroom traps being set for Irving. One especially effective scene also drives home the implications of losing the case to Irving, erasing history but not the anguish. ‘Denial’ brings back to us a little of those old fashioned court drama films where every familiar step is worth identifying and important.
Rated M 7 out of 10
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