Today (Tuesday, 9.13) is the last high-pressure day of the Toronto Film Festival. Or maybe it’s the beginning of Phase 2, which is when it all settles down and the crowds thin and it all starts to feel more manageable. One of the two. All I know is that it always means “olly, olly, in come free” when Deadline‘s Pete Hammond leaves Toronto. It means that the boom-boom promotional hoo-hah is winding to a close. Now I can start to catch up on all those films I’ve been reading about but haven’t yet seen — Denial, Collossus, Into The Inferno, Their Finest, Barry, Brimstone, The Duelist, et. al. You don’t have to speed-walk as much when this phase kicks in. You can breathe again. You have to keep filing, of course, but the pace feels saner.

I was going to blow off Mick Jackson‘s Denial as the 16-year-old libel suit it’s based upon (i.e., David Irving having sued author/historian Deborah E. Lipstadt for calling him a Holocaust denier in her 1994 book “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory”) seems absurd. But the following passage in Marshall Fine‘s 9.13 review changed my mind:

Denial soars because of strong acting and strong writing. The cast — protagonist Rachel Weisz and antagonist Timothy Spall are joined by Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott as the leaders of her legal team — bring spark and energy to the material, but their task is strongly facilitated by David Hare’s script. The renowned playwright takes rather dry, technical material — both historical and legal — and turns it into suspenseful, compelling drama. He never skimps on ideas and details, yet finds a way to make a thrilling courtroom drama out of an argument about history. Wilkinson is particularly good, while Weisz captures the brash, impulsive American’s energy and her frustration at not being able to speak for herself in a British court.”

Actually the above passage aren’t exactly Fine’s words — I condensed his copy and in some instances eliminated or substituted words.