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Il Postino: The Postman (1994)
"Il postino" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 22,863 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 103 user | 32 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

Simple Italian postman learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet; he uses this to woo local beauty Beatrice.

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Writers:

(novel), (story), 6 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Massimo Troisi ...
Mario Ruoppolo
...
Beatrice Russo
Renato Scarpa ...
Telegrapher
Linda Moretti ...
Donna Rosa
Sergio Solli
Carlo Di Maio
Nando Neri
Vincenzo Di Sauro
Orazio Stracuzzi
Alfredo Cozzolino
Mariano Rigillo ...
Di Cosimo
...
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Storyline

Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet, is exiled to a small island for political reasons. On the island, the unemployed son of a poor fisherman is hired as an extra postman due to the huge increase in mail that this causes. Il Postino is to hand-deliver the celebrity's mail to him. Though poorly educated, the postman learns to love poetry and eventually befriends Neruda. Struggling to grow and express himself more fully, he suddenly falls in love and needs Neruda's help and guidance more than ever. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A shy postman didn't stand a chance with the island's most beautiful woman until the great poet of love gave him the courage to follow his dreams...and the words to win her heart. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il Postino: The Postman  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$234,643 (USA) (20 September 1996)

Gross:

$20,681,301 (USA) (11 October 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The last film that was rated 'U' to be nominated for the best picture Oscar. See more »

Quotes

Mario Ruoppolo: If you make this much of a fuss about one poem, you're never going to win that Nobel Prize.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Madreselva
Written by Francisco Canaro (as F. Canaro) and Luis César Amadori (as L.C. Amadori)
Performed by Carlos Gardel
Courtesy of E. Musical Pirovano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Better than most all American romances.
17 September 2003 | by (Topeka, KS) – See all my reviews

"Il Postino" is a movie that received oodles of critical acclaim upon its release in 1994. While I don't think it was as good as advertised, I understand why it received such praise. In a movie world that is filled with dry and unamusing romance stories, "Il Postino" is a relatively lush and beautiful tale.

The plot is fairly simple but loaded with subtleties that allow, even encourage, multiple viewings. Mario (Massimo Troisi) longs for something more than his simple fisherman life on an Italian island, so he takes a small job as a postman, delivering mail to famed romantic poet Pablo Neruda (Phillipe Noiret), who is living in exile on the same island. Over time, they develop a relationship that is based on Neruda aiding Mario in wooing his beloved Beatrice (Maria Grazia Cucinotta).

The final act is where the film makes the leap from well-made standard fare to something greater. With a couple plausible plot developments, characters and relationships are deepened beyond a basic love story, to a place that accents everything that happens leading up to that point. I can't say much else without giving things away, but stick with the movie to the end, even if you're dragging midway through.

As you might expect from an Italian film, "Il Postino" has a very European feel. The passion of Italy is present throughout, explained through lifestyles, literal and metaphorical imagery, and the emotions of the characters. The setting is far from the bustling dollar-driven society in which Americans dwell, and a movie like this wouldn't get made in America, because the cultures are drastically different.

The film's star, Massimo Troisi, is excellent. He embodies everyman qualities exceptionally, similar to Tom Hanks, yet with more...something. Soul perhaps? He, like the entire film, is just more European, and I hope you understand what I mean by that. Noiret portrays Neruda perfectly, expressing his romantic ways through both words and actions. Everyone else is very good, although no one stands out; the overall anonymity of the cast aids the viewer in establishing culture as well.

The cinematography and the scenery it presents is often breathtaking, although not in the sweeping manner of something like The Lord of the Rings. Rather, cinematographer Franco Di Giacomo wisely chose to let the pictures speak for themselves. The elegant cliffs, white-capped waves, and rolling topography of the island gently yet firmly frame and support the story. A straight-forward tale should have suitable pictures, and "Il Postino" meets that requirement.

The film is touted as a romantic comedy, and it is, although not in the traditional sense. The comedy isn't slapstick and won't elicit bushels of laughter. But there is an underlying sense of humor laced through the whole movie, often in simple movements, tasks, or occurrences.

All of this combines to present something like a fairy tale replete with Italian heart and soul. "Il Postino" won't blow you away, but its tender lessons about life, love, and friendship will stick with you for some time, urging another viewing.

Bottom Line: A very European romance that is better than most anything Hollywood can conjure up. 8/10.

(If you like the film, get the Collector's Edition DVD; it's quite good.)


26 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Your English is Overrated JHMM13
Massimo Troisi silkyorange
Il Postino A Cinema Masterpiece coolhand_gb
Why is Neruda's voice dubbed? JimChampion
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