Denial (PG) ****

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Justice!

By Shirl Hollenberg

img_2834Duelling authors fight for the public’s minds in Denial. Based on a true story this thoughtful film from Elevation Pictures explores the rights of individuals when retelling history. Produced by Participant Media and Canadian EBay co-founder Jeff Skoll Denial turns out to be an insightful examination of a battle for the truth and the reputations of two determined authors. Check out this haunting drama at either The International Village Cinemas or The Fifth Avenue Cinemas as it also showcases some Oscar bound performances.

Be careful what you say. Be more careful what you publish. Penguin books and an American professor unwrap a can of worms when words printed about another author become prime fodder in a tale of history, distortion and deceit.

Known for her research and teachings on the Holocaust is acclaimed American professor Deborah Lipstadt. One of England’s finest actresses, Rachel Weisz, turns in a towering performance as a writer called to task for her depiction of a fellow author, David Irving, in print. Steady as he goes Timothy Spall convincingly plays the well-educated author whose beliefs on the validity (and non-existence) of the Holocaust became a cause célèbre at a show trial in London.

Able to ramp up the tension in this telling tale of a retelling of history and attempt to get at the real truth is director Mick Jackson (The Bodyguard). Standout reserved acting by Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott (SPECTRE) as part of Ms. Lipstadt’s legal team provide lots of focus for internal debate and jousting as to how to best handle the defence. Which way the judge will rule ensures a lively proceeding.

Full of surprises and internal struggle it is heartfelt to witness how Ms. Lipstadt wrestles with the proceedings. Rachel Weisz pulls off a compelling performance with the emotions she feels really bubbling just under the surface. Here the tension is palpable with the stakes sky high as the memories of 6 million may well be left hanging in the balance.