david prown 120The film "Denial" stars Rachel Weisz, Timothy Spall (who has a J.K. Simmons face for the movie screen - that is a compliment) and Tom Wilkinson.

Based on a true story set in the early 90's, Weisz play Emory University professor Deborah Lipstadt who who wrote a book on Holocaust deniers. One of the accused is British WWII historian David Irving played amazingly by Spall.

Irving sues Lipstadt for libel and does so within the scope of the British legal where the burden of proof is a 180 of the US system and Lipstadt, the accused, has to prove her innocence….Guilty till proven innocent which is amazing.

The first half of the film showcases the lines being drawn and the developing the personalities of Lipstadt and Irving so you can really see this legal collision coming. Both are very much type A personalities with very very strong personal beliefs.

The 2nd half of the film is the trial. Irving is representing himself in this judge only trial (no jury) while Lipstadt has a full blown legal team. At 1st when we meet her legal team, they seem young and a bit inexperienced in this type of legal matter. But they clearly have a very defined plan laser focusing on discrediting Irving. Lipstadt and some survivors are initially very angry that they aren't being asked to testify…tell their store.

The focused, unemotional and unrelenting legal strategy is executed perfectly team wise led by Tom Wilkinson who is brilliant in his preparation and realized in court.

Hard for me to be dazzled by true legal genius. But I sure was. Her legal team kept their eye on the ball, weren't distracted by publicity ploys as they knew the only audience they had to win over was the judge.

Terrific tight, fascinating film based on a true story. Highly recommend (Playing in Red Bank).