Denial

This dramatisation of the High Court libel trial brought by British Holocaust denier David Irving against American professor of Holocaust Studies Deborah Lipstadt should have been better, as on paper it has an excellent cast as well as an emotive subject: Timothy Spall and Rachel Weisz occupy the two main roles, but while their performances are sound the latter in particular is hampered by some of the lines given to her character, which clang and seem unlikely or full of exposition far too often. Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott fare better as Lipstadt’s barrister Richard Rampton and solicitor Anthony Julius respectively, both of whom are well-known, high profile lawyers in real life. Mick Jackson’s film comes alive during Lipstadt’s brief clashes and exchanged glances across the courtroom with Irving, but while the procedural stuff is fine the heavily-attended planning meetings begin to grate after a while, as far too many are included within the film’s short-ish running time. I also rolled my eyes far too often at the portrayal of the press: there’s one incredibly clunky scene where the camera tracks along a group of reporters who are all, bizarrely, saying the same thing; it simply doesn’t ring true, and it’s all the more noticable because it appears in a film that’s about the truth. (**)