Poster of Denial

Denial (Film Review) – Undeniably Powerful

Denial is a historical drama directed by Mick Jackson which stars Andrew Scott, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Spall and Rachel Weisz. The film is based on the true story of the ‘Irving v Penguin Books Ltd’ court case where Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt (Rachel Weisz) was sued for libel by Holocaust denier David Irving (Timothy Spall).

My Knowledge and Expectation of Denial

This was a film which I was not aware of until I saw a trailer for it at my local cinema around a month ago and, after seeing this trailer, I was instantly anticipating the release of Denial in the UK. One of the reasons why I was so interested in seeing Denial was because I knew nothing about this court case or the people involved and I found this to be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge about this case, especially considering the historical event which surrounded it.

Rachel Weisz in Denial

Truly, the Holocaust is an area of history which is both horrific yet fascinating to learn about whether it is through books, documentaries such as Auschwitz: The Nazis and “The Final Solution” or films such as Schindler’s List and Defiance. Because of this, I was eager to learn about how the Holocaust re-entered the social conscious in Britain in the 1990s and early 2000s through the ‘Irving v Penguin Books Ltd’ court case which was the central focus of Denial.

My Thoughts on Denial

In the end, Denial is a film which is both powerful and respectful in the way it handles such a delicate subject matter. Certainly, there are scenes in this film which actually made the women sitting next to me in the cinema to cry at times. There are powerful moments in the film but they were not disrespectful. Instead, they served a purpose in giving Denial emotional weight and enhancing the film in the process.


Denial also has a great cast and the performances which are in this film also deserve recognition. Weisz was good in the central role of Deborah Lipstadt and Tom Wilkinson gave a solid performance as he always has in the films I have seen him in. Timothy Spall was probably the standout as he gave a very creepy and unsettling performance as David Irving.

The performances by the cast helped the film be as good as it could be although I will concede that there is little rewatchability with this film due to the slow pacing. Nevertheless, you will gain a lot from watching this film and you will feel that Denial is necessary viewing for everyone.

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