In 1996, the Holocaust denier David Irving sued the historian Deborah Lipstadt for libel in the English courts over remarks she had made about him in her book, Denying the Holocaust: the Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. With the burden of proof planted firmly in Lipstadt’s corner, she had to prove to a libel court that Irving’s claim that the Holocaust didn’t happen, was false. Now this trial is being brought to the screen with a script by David Hare, and a cast that has more than a little experience in bringing heavyweight drama to the fore. Weisz is a great choice to play Lipstadt (though she has replaced Hilary Swank in the role), and Spall looks both banal and creepy as Irving. With its terrible historical background, Denial looks like it has the potential to be a thought-provoking, morally complex thriller that examines one of the more darker, and disturbing assertions made about the Holocaust in the last thirty years.
If you’re John Lasseter, you’ve got to be feeling pretty satisfied with yourself and the state of play at Disney at the moment. Two out of the three last Disney animated releases have taken over a billion dollars at the international box office, and just in the last few days, the latest movie from Pixar, Finding Dory (2016), has broken all kinds of box office records including the largest opening weekend for an animated feature. Pretty sweet indeed. This must make the next Disney animated release another cause for (probable) celebration. However, this first teaser trailer for Moana doesn’t give anything away, and aside from some beautifully realised sea-faring animation, and a rather scrawny looking chicken as comic relief, there’s nothing to get excited about. Let’s hope Moana‘s first full trailer gives us something more to look forward to.
Mike Flanagan is a name that most mainstream movie goers will be unfamiliar with, but if you’re a fan of horror movies and have been paying attention in recent years then you’ll know that he’s made a handful of features that have tried (and sometimes succeeded) in doing something a little bit different with the genre. Absentia (2011) was a quietly unnerving experience, while Oculus (2013), even though it didn’t work completely, was a stylish and clever exercise in combining two linear narratives to heighten suspense. With Before I Wake, the signs are that Flanagan has found a story that will play to his visual strengths as well as his ability to craft unsettling experiences out of everyday occurrences. And for anyone who thinks the child actor has a familiar face, it’s Jacob Tremblay, from Room (2015).