Denial directed by Mike Jackson and screenplay by David Hare was a well crafted film based on a true story (and book by Deborah Lipstadt).
I knew this was quality even before realizing the cinematic geniuses behind the film. First Mike Jackson also directed Temple Grandin, a tv movie I showed to my two independent study students a few years back after we finished a reading of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night. An aside, I get misty just thinking of the power this book and movie combo had on the three of us. Claire Danes, in my book, is our modern Meryl Streep. She couldn’t get enough awards for that performance (Temple Grandin, an autistic woman) in my book.
Then there’s screenwriter David Hare, whose filmography contains two of my favorite films-The Hours and The Reader. Hare’s take on Denial was near perfect with my tiny quibble at the film’s climax of scenes tacked on to prolong the suspense (here’s Rachel Weisz on the porch swing in suspense, tensely drinking her lemonade. And here’s Rachel at the barbecue flipping burgers, still nervous. YET in all fairness, that’s reality).
Rachel Weisz I’ve always liked, especially in two recent films-Youth, which I ADORE, as Michael Caine’s loving daughter and almost unrecognizable in The Lobster (not a great film, but her performance was terrific). And in last week’s New Yorker, she was praised for her new role on David Hare’s Off Broadway play Plenty (hmm, light bulb: possible road trip idea to see my son).
Tom Wilkinson, solid as ever, also added to the stellar cast. Likewise, Timothy Spall, with his signature hang dog look, played a despicable Holocaust denier.
Denial, unfairly given 64% in our local paper (Sarasota Herald Tribune) is a rewarding film experience.