Jean-Jacques Annaud directs Sean Connery in The Name of the Rose (Der Name Der Rose), the film version of the novel by Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose is a great adaptation of the most important work by Umberto Eco. A mystery story set in an era of supersitions (Fourteenth century) with the Inquisition in the middle.
Orson Welles said that one should adapt lesser literary works (if not, you ran the risk of being ridiculed in the comparisons with the literary masterpieces). This time, the director and the entire team do a great job by focusing on the detective story part of the literary work.
Brother William of Baskerville (Sean Connery) and his disciple Adso de Melk (Christian Slater) arrive at an abbey where one of the monks died recently, where the abbot hopes that Brother William will be able to solve the crimes.
Our erudite friend is a man far removed from superstition and he tries to find a logical explanation for everything, which goes against the firm convictions of some of the monks.
If we have read Aristoteles or know he wasn´t a football player, all the better.
To start with: this is a great literary adaptation, I have seen few better ones. Those who love the novel surely didn´t feel let down when they saw it (well, yes they did, we will explain that now). However, Eco´s novel has many more things and the historic theme of the Franciscans, heresy and other issues is barely mentioned. In its day, people had a lot to say about that.
Our humble opinion: this is a movie, not a documentary and the film has a good rhythm and manages to bring us to the main theme of the novel (the detective story part) in an effective way. It is not possible to summarize a book wioth 700 pages in two hours because we would commit a serious mistake and, always, one needs to summarize and… this is an adaptation.
The actors. Sean Connery was at his best and there was no better actor for the role of the Franciscan friar. There are some other actorrs that would go on to become famous like Ron Pelman and an Oscar winner like F. Murray Abraham (who won the award for Amadeus). So great.
The plot. What we will say about this will not surprise anyone. This novel changed the course of modern publishing at a time in which historic novels were not at all fashionable. Eco states a plot like Sherlock Holmes and Watson (for more information about his passion for the character you can take a look at his essay Apocalipticos e Integrados) and it works out great, also Jean-Jacques Annaud does a great job in this film.
If you haven´t seen the movie or read the book, I envy you because you have a great cult piece to discover.
We give four stars to this fantastic movie.
And, by the way, we add: Umberto Eco deserved the Nobel prize just with this work alone that changed literature.
Feodor Chaliapin Jr.
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Movie title: Der Name der Rose
Movie description: 14th-century Franciscan monk William of Baskerville and his young novice arrive at a conference to find that several monks have been murdered under mysterious circumstances. To solve the crimes, William must rise up against the Church’s authority and fight the shadowy conspiracy of monastery monks using only his intelligence – which is considerable.
Date published: January 10, 2022
Country: West germany
Duration: 131 mins
Author: Martin Cid
Director(s): Jean-Jacques Annaud
Writer(s): Andrew Birkin, Gérard Brach, Howard Franklin, Alain Godard
Cinematography: Tonino Delli Colli
Music: James Horner
Actor(s): Sean Connery, Christian Slater, F. Murray Abraham, Michael Lonsdale, Valentina Vargas, Ron Perlman, Feodor Chaliapin Jr., William Hickey
Companies: Constantin Film, ZDF, Cristaldifilm, Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI), Les Films Ariane, France 3 Cinéma
We give four stars to this fantastic movie.
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