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Non-Review Review: Denial

Denial is a vitally important story, albeit one told in a rather unimpressive manner.

Denial documents the libel case that David Irving took against Deborah Lipstadt upon the publication of her book Denying the Holocaust. In that book, Lipstadt accused Irving of being a Holocaust denier. Irving took offense at this, and attempted to sue her in the British courts. Under British law, the onus was placed on Lipstadt to prove that she was correct in her assessment. Essentially, the court case put the Holocaust itself on trial and served to interrogate the idea of objective truth in a postmodern age.

Suits you, sir.

Suits you, sir.

Obviously, Denial feels a lot more relevant now than it would have two years ago. In fact, it feels more relevant now than it did two months ago. Or two weeks. This is big weighty subject matter, dealing with an important issue in a very sensitive and delicate manner. It is in many the perfect focus for a prestige awards-season film. However, the problem is that film itself feels rather flat. Denial often feels like a made-for-television movie, clumsy and forced. It is a film aware of its own importance, but lacking its identity.

Denial feels very much like a missed opportunity.

Lecture notes.

Lecture notes.

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The Sopranos: Denial, Anger, Acceptance (Review)

Denial, Anger, Acceptance marks the first episode of The Sopranos not written by creator David Chase. In the United Kingdom, it’s traditional for a particular writer (or writers) to write every episode of a given series, to the point where you are quite likely to find a television show credited “by” a particular person. In the United States, due to longer seasons and various other concerns, such an approach isn’t feasible. (There are exceptions, such as Aaron Sorkin’s tenure on The West Wing, where he contributed eight-one scripts in the show’s first four seasons.) However, The Sopranos remains associated with its creator, David Chase, so it’s interesting to look at Denial, Anger, Acceptance as the first episode written by a writer other than Chase, in this case Mark Saraceni.

Sticking his neck out...

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