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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A little gem with a winning lead role for Miranda Otto

Author: Slime-3 from Gloucester, England
18 December 2003

This little gem of a film tells a heart warming, bitter-sweet tale with classy acting and low-key direction. Lonely Alice takes a job at the dead letter office in order to track down the father with whom she lost contact in childhood. There she meets the apparently cold but super efficient manager, Franc, a refugee with a past which torments him. The basic story then progresses along lines you would expect with some nice twists and turns along the way. Alice and Franc grow to understand each other, while facing up to the realities of their previous experiences, and the realization that the past is impossible to recapture. Miranda Otto as Alice lifts this film out of the ordinary with a charming, sincere performance, a very pretty face and a dab of genuine star quality . George Del Hoyo as the tortured soul, Franc, is an effective polar opposite to Alice. He's cold and apparently cynical, Alice is wide-eyed and enthusiastic but both share a loss in their past. The supporting characters at the dead letter office itself , in which undeliverable and wrongly addressed mail is processed, are a curious bunch of misfits who add some comic touches and depth. The straight forward and un-flashy direction is effective in making the whole movie seem down to earth and realistic. A case of less being more. There are some fine memorable scenes ; Alice posting a letter to her missing father while striking a graceful balletic pose ; Frank practicing dance steps after hours in the office. Not high art, but quality no nonsense film making in which the story and characters lead the way and the director supports, rather than usurps them. A nice film and please can someone in Hollywood sign Miranda Otto as I could watch her all day!

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Heartfelt Aussie flic that deserves better

Author: mifunesamurai from Australia
18 January 1999

Letters with no destination end up in another world found in the back rooms of the post office. Here, Alice manages to land a job in hope of finding her lost father. What she does discover is the tormented soul of her boss, Frank. A quiet little Aussie flic that came and went at the cinema. Now you find it in the deep dark corner of the video shop, overshadowed by fifty copies of that dreaded GODZILLA film. It's a shame because this turned out to be a satisfying film telling a brave tale with strong simple images and effective performances from the two leads. This film succeeds where Garry Marshall's other dead letter office flic DEAR GOD (1996 - USA) failed, and comes close to the brilliance of, not the Kevin Costner turkey, but He Jianjun's POSTMAN (1995 - China).

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:


Author: Nia Edwards-Behi ( from North Wales
3 March 2004

This film is a wonderfully simplistic work. Enjoyable from start to end it is both sad yet uplifting at the same time. The performances from Miranda Otto (oh, how she deserves so much more recognition!)and George del Hoya are beautiful and yet almost painful to watch, as the two tortured souls come to understand each other. The supporting cast of workers at the Dead Letter Office are wonderful bit-parts in them selves, as is Alice's long-suffering boyfriend, who I couldn't help but feel slightly sorry for. There's one particular scene I could watch over and over (and I have!), it's such a shame that films like these don't get recognition, and therefore bring them futher into the public eye for more people to enjoy. I cried, I laughed and I sighed. I'd recommend this film to anyone.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

One of those warm, fuzzy movies

Author: grunsel from United Kingdom
6 February 2005

If the Australian Post Office ever needed a promotional film for recruitment then this is it.This is one of those movies who's heart is in the right place and you can watch again and again. Miranda's performance is touching as it shows an aspect of Australia unimagined by many Europeans, in that it can be cold, wet and bleak, just like anywhere else and just like anywhere else what is important is the people that surrounds you. The characters in the movie are warm and welcoming and make the prospect of a career move into a 'dead letter office' a thought to be considered. Miranda has gone on to do bigger movies, but I hope she always keeps a thought inside for this one?.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A rather curious Aussie film

Author: eguirald-2 from Santiago, Chile
5 March 2000

An unpretentious little film made with sincerity, gentleness and with a reduced budget (and it shows.) In the end, it looks and feels mostly undernourished. The Latin-American characters that give the movie its rather unusual "exotic" flavour also collaborate with the collective tortured past that runs through the movie, although their personal stories and discourse may sound pretty unconvincing.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Unknown address

Author: Trey206 from Seattle, WA
19 May 1999

This movie had a IMDB rating of 8.1 so I expected much more from it. It starts out funny and endearing with an energy that feels spontaneous. But before the movie is half-way through, it begins to drag and everything becomes sickingly predictable. The characters in the office were delightful in the first third of the movie, but we get to know them a little too well; they become caricatures, not real people at all. This is the same story I've seen hundreds of times, only told here with slightly different circumstances. The thing is, I could stomach another predictable love story if only the dialog weren't so stale!

The only thing that could be worse is if the characters had inconsistent and unbelievable motivations, and unfortunately that was also the case with Dead Letter Office. Hopefully this movie will end up in the Dead Movie Office soon.

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2 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Dead in the water

Author: paul2001sw-1 ( from Saffron Walden, UK
8 February 2005

'Dead Letter Office' is a low-budget film about a couple of employees of the Australian postal service, struggling to rebuild their damaged lives. Unfortunately, the acting is poor and the links between the characters' past misfortunes and present mindsets are clumsily and over-schematically represented. What's most disappointing of all, however, is the portrayal is life in the office of the film's title: there's no mechanisation whatsoever, and it's quite impossible to ascertain what any of the staff really do for a living. Granted, part of the plot is that the office is threatened with closure, but this sort of office surely closed in the 1930s, if it ever truly existed. It's a shame, as the film's overall tone is poignant and wry, and there's some promise in the scenario: but few of the details convince. Overall, it feels the work of someone who hasn't actually experienced much of real life; a student film, with a concept and an outline, but sadly little else.

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