Denial (2016) Review


Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, sues her for being libel when she called him a Holocaust denier.


I do remember when this film was due to be released and I kept seeing the trailer it looked like it would be a very powerful drama with an outstanding cast. That is exactly what the film is, eventually managing to catch up with it thanks to Amazon Video having it on pretty quickly.

The thing with the film is that it is highlighting an issue of a very real battle which makes you very shocked that anyone would even claim that something so devastating and horrific as the Holocaust was just made up and not real. How and why would anyone make up such a tragic and sadistic thing. The film therefore focuses on the trial and has some brilliant scenes and acting to go along with it.

With all of that it does offer some interesting thoughts surrounding freedom of speech and how in reality we don’t actually have that. Does everything have to be proven in order for it to be taken seriously? If you cannot prove something and it is just a persons words does that really stand up as reality? Well, those are some of the things that this film made me really think about which I guess takes everything a lot deeper than you may first expect.

It is pretty impressive that the dialogue from the court scenes is taken from the actual trial records, I think that shows that they really did want to have it as real as possible not adding anything in but presenting the court case like it was in real life. Which I think is very important to the build up to the trial in the film.

Rachel Weisz is in the leading role and she blew me away in all honesty, I thought she was just brilliant as Deborah E. Lipstadt fully engaging from start to finish really driving the film forward with great chemistry with Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott. Seriously though every time I see Scott he is more and more impressive. Timothy Spall taking on a not very nice role really in David Irving is still brilliant as well with such a tough character to play.

A drama like this really does rely on the performances which were brilliant and you cannot fault any member of the cast and the roles they play bring everything to life on-screen. I just felt everyone more than brought it for each role and that was very pleasant and reassuring to see from start to finish. I always find it frustrating that a very important story and well acted film like this does not get a bigger cinema release to give more people a chance to see it before heading to steaming services/tv now which is such a shame! I really do recommend that you watch this one for the powerful performances.


4 thoughts on “Denial (2016) Review

  1. Great review. Thought this was a gem of a film with a strong British cast. Agree that films like these deserve to be seen by more people. Rightly BAFTA nominated for Outstanding British Film in 2017. I was lucky to see it at the cinema and it did well at the Independents. Good that the streaming services picked it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I did enjoy this film as I wasn’t familiar with the court case myself. Timothy Spall acted amazingly as always!

    And yeah, you bring good points about how much a person’s word is worth. Does it count as evidence alone? I myself am battling ideas in my mind about how this plays out in certain situations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I had no idea about the court case either, so maybe this film helps to highlight and tell people more about it.

      Strange that it became so thought provoking in that way isn’t it!

      Liked by 1 person

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