This Week's Review: Denial

I learned long ago that whenever I sense a frenzy of house cleaning looming in my future, that is the very time I need to head for a theater. My choice for the October 29 weekend was Denial, one of the best dramas I have seen in many months. I strongly suspect that there will be Oscar nominations, at least for the major cast members.

The story is based on the experiences of an Emory University historian who is sued in the English court systems for libel; her adversary is David Irving, a military historian who denies that the Holocaust ever happened. The cast includes three seasoned veterans: Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson, and Timothy Spall. All three are excellent, but those who like courtroom dramas will relish Wilkinson’s performance as the head of the defense team, but Spall is equally good as the pro-Hitler demagogue; his performance is strongly reminiscent of his appearances as the rat-faced villain in the Harry Potter films.

Other films that help remind us of the horrors of the Holocaust include Judgment at Nuremburg and Schindler’s List; this one uses understatement to deliver its very effective punch. The cinematography is unusually good, particularly in scenes set at Auschwitz.

Strongly recommended.