1327: after a mysterious death in a Benedictine Abbey, the monks are convinced that the apocalypse is coming. With the Abbey to play host to a council on the Franciscan’s Order’s belief that the Church should rid itself of wealth, William of Baskerville, a respected Franciscan monk, is asked to assist in determining the cause of the untimely death. Alas, more deaths occur as the investigation draws closer to uncovering the secret the Abbey wants hidden, and there is finally no stopping the Holy Inquisition from taking an active hand in the process. William and his young novice must race against time to prove the innocence of the unjustly accused and avoid the wrath of Holy Inquisitor Bernardo Gui. –IMDb
Born in Draveil, south of Paris, France, Annaud attended the prestigious L’Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques. He graduated at the age of 20 and quickly achieved success directing commercials. Two years later he was sent to the French Cameroons as an Army Film Director by the National Service.
While in Africa, he trained locals to make their own movies while working on a series of educational films for the natives. The experience convinced him to film his first feature, Black and White in Color (1976), in Africa, and he took a year to raise the money. His hard work paid off with an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 1978.
Annaud’s follow-up, Coup de Tête (or Hothead) (1979), established his reputation in France, and his next film Quest for Fire (1981), a unique story of primitive man set 80,000 years ago, won French Cesar Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. He won the Cesar Award again directing Sean Connery in an adaptation of Umberto Eco’s challenging… read more
I will admit, I couldn't finish the book. It was an interesting idea that got bogged down in flagrant amounts of detail that went from illuminating to irritating. Annaud has done an admirable job of taking the best parts and distilling them down. Moody and atmospheric, this film is a ride. Anchored by a great performance by Connery I enjoyed this one. It isn't amazing, but it's pretty damn fun.