7 user 3 critic

Dead Letter Office (1998)

Alice's father left when she was a child. She continued to share her life with him in letters that she sent not realising that he never received them. Eventually, they all come back with "... See full summary »


John Ruane


Deb Cox
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miranda Otto ... Alice Walsh
George DelHoyo ... Frank Lopez
Alicia Banit ... Young Alice
Tess Mornana Tess Mornana ... Young Alice (voice)
Mariette Carey Mariette Carey ... Miss Harris
Nicholas Bell ... Kevin
Georgina Naidu ... Mary
Syd Brisbane ... Peter
Malcolm Singh Malcolm Singh ... Victor
Mark Wilson Mark Wilson ... Youth
Jane Hall Jane Hall ... Heather
Jillian O'Dowd ... Lizzy
Alethea McGrath ... Gardening Woman
Carole Fraser Carole Fraser ... Aboriginal Woman
Guillermina Ulloa Guillermina Ulloa ... Lucia


Alice's father left when she was a child. She continued to share her life with him in letters that she sent not realising that he never received them. Eventually, they all come back with "Dead Letter Office" stamped on the front. As an adult, she becomes consumed with a desire to find him and takes a job with the Dead Letter Office, convinced that she can use them to fulfill her romantic notions of a reunion with her father. What awaits her at the DLO is far more than that ... Written by Peter Webb <tjebi@mpx.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A story of love and lost letters


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Did You Know?


Real life father and daughter Barry Otto and Miranda Otto also appear as father and daughter in this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

Three scenes missing from the R4 Australian DVD release. Scene 1: 5secs After Kevin says to Frank Alice is here for the interview Peter cracks a joke to Mary about not being paid more to come here. Scene 2: 1min 20secs After Frank phones Alice to say she has the job we see Kevin show Alice a locked room where all the undeliverable items are kept. Kevin shows Alice his favourite item; a crystal ball. Alice picks up a toy swinging bird and then notices a small urn. Kevin says even Frank couldn't find the recipient for it. Finally they go out and Alice notices a wedding photograph. Kevin says that they don't know how Frank cracked it. He was invited to the wedding after uniting the owners with the wedding ring. This scene is a precursor to the later scene where Frank organizes a group effort to unite a owner with a baby gift. Scene 3: 54secs After Alice checks the Microfiche for the name Urquhart she hears a thud coming from a distant room. She goes to where the noise came from and finds Frank in a large warehouse room with racks of boxes filled with lost mail. Alice says she didn't know there was more. Frank says they get 2,000 a week. Finally Frank says that this job is not a career. Alice says she knows and it's not what she's after. This scene introduces the warehouse room where later in the film you see Alice secretly watch Frank dance without him noticing her. See more »

User Reviews

A little gem with a winning lead role for Miranda Otto
18 December 2003 | by Slime-3See all my reviews

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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English | Spanish

Release Date:

20 August 1998 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Dead Letter Office - Adresse unbekannt See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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