The initial release of The Song of Names rolls out today from Sony in selected movie houses in New York and Los Angeles. Canada release also starts today in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
My original novel was published in 2001. Film rights were sold within weeks.
It has taken 18 years for the story to reach the screen.
The initial cast was meant to be Anthony Hopkins and Dustin Hoffman. I met Hopkins in Cardiff and was due to have coffee in London with Hoffman. Hopkins was touchingly keen. He had read not only The Song of Names but also one of my books on Mahler. We were chatting happily after a concert when I caught the eye of his wife, who was sitting in the corner of his dressing room, and knew in that instant that he would never be in this film. Her look said: too niche, too foreign, too small budget, too artsy, too everything.
For which I am eternally grateful.
The ultimate cast of Tim Roth and Clive Owen is inspired. I have never seen either man give a more empathetic performance.
And the boy actors are out of this world.
Francois Girard is a magnificent director. He would send me emails in the small hours of the morning, unable to sleep untol I had clarified some tiny plot detail to his satisfaction.
The LA Times review calls the film ‘a profound, affecting and beautifully told chronicle of faith, family, obsession and the language of music.’
The New York Times calls it ‘powerful’.
Let me know what you think.