The Name of the Rose

As intelligent a reductio of Umberto Eco's sly farrago of whodunnit and medieval metaphysics as one could have wished for. Just who is killing the monks of an isolated monastery in a variety of vile ways, and why? William of Baskerville is the Franciscan Holmes called upon to point the finger: a complex man, at once the great detective delighted with his own powers of deduction, and a man both defeated by the brutality of his age and enthralled by its mysteries (and it's to Sean Connery's credit that he portrays as much and more). In addition, the film simply looks good, really succeeds in communicating the sense and spirit of a time when the world was quite literally read like a book, with impressively claustrophobic sets, particularly the Escher-like labyrinth of a library with its momentous secret. The monks themselves are marvellous, a gallery of grotesques straight out of Brueghel, and if the film has faults, they are quibbles: the murder mystery is solved too soon, and rather too much plot is crammed into the available space. AMac.

Release details

Duration: 131 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Screenwriter: Andrew Birkin, GĂ©rard Brach, Howard Franklin, Alain Godard
Cast: Sean Connery
Christian Slater
Helmut Qualtinger
Elya Baskin
Michel Lonsdale
Volker Prechtel
F Murray Abraham

Average User Rating

5 / 5

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