The Name of the Rose

July 31, 2005 - This 1986 medieval mystery stars Sean Connery as a progressive monk and a young Christian Slater as his novice. F. Murray Abraham also appears. Based on a book by Umberto Eco.

Connery is William of Baskerville, a Franciscan monk with a love for learning and a knack for solving mysteries. He and his young novice are called to a remote monastery in northern Italy where a great debate of theological import is to take place. But, just days before the debate, a young monk has died. William quickly pronounces it suicide. But then another monk and another are murdered. William and his novice try to find out why before someone from the Inquisition (Abraham) arrives to find out for himself.

In the course of their investigation, the novice meets a peasant girl in a barn. She introduces him to the ways of the flesh, and he pronounces himself in love even though he doesn't know her name.

Overall review: ** I saw this movie when it first came out about 20 years ago, and seem to recall thinking it was good. This time around, just so-so. The affair with the peasant girl seemed out of place, the motive for the murders seemed weak, and the reason for the great debate at the monastery seemed even weaker. Maybe all that stuff was a big deal in the 14th century, but it seems kind of harmless now.