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The Postman
(Il Postino)
Italy/France/Belgium - 1994
Directed by Michael Radford


Simple, quiet story that explores the commonality that people with different backgrounds can have with each other.  Mario (Massimo Troisi), is a simple, unsuccessful fisherman who lives an uneventful life on a little Italian island.    Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret), a Chilean poet who has been exiled from Chili for his communist beliefs arrives to spend his exile on the island.  So many people (mostly women) write to Neruda that a new clerk was needed to deliver his mail to him.   That new clerk is Mario, who, very quietly observes every detail surrounding Neruda as he brings his daily mail.  He wants to learn Neruda's secret to attracting women.

Neruda shows little interest, but Mario doggedly pursues him in an unobtrusive, quiet way.  Eventually, Nerudo becomes friends with Mario, explaining that poetry has been his secret to unlocking women's hearts.  Neruda helps Mario to woo the beautiful Beatrice(Maria Grazia Cucinotta), the object of his desire.

The sweetness of this film is really within the character of Mario who must set himself up for rejection before achieving his simple goals.  Massimo Troisi delivers an exceptional performance with almost imperceptible acting.  Sadly, the actor postponed heart surgery while making the film and died the day after filming was complete.  The Postman won an Oscar for Best Music, Original Dramatic Score (Luis Enriquez Bacalov) (1996), and Oscar Nominations for Best Actor (Massimo Troisi) Best Director (Michael Radford), Best Picture and for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (1996).  Michael Radford also won the Audience Award from the Sao Paulo International Film Festival for Best Feature (1995).

Runtime:  108 Minutes


Guest Comments

From:  "kisa20"

"This is one of the most wonderful and almost archetypal tragic story. A young man finds himself applying for a job as a postman for an exiled poet, Pablo Neruga. Upon delivering him mail, he finds he wants to know more of this poet, this man who can attract women with a few gorgious metaphors. The postman finds he falls in love with a woman named Beatrice Rousso, and wants the poet to give him a few hints on how to woo her with words. What the postman finds out from Pablo is that he does not need his help to win her over; he has a natural gift of eloquence, and he ends up marrying Beatrice. Then Pablo gets news from his country, Chile, that he is no longer exiled and can return to his homeland. the postman is very sad, for they have developed a wonderful relationship over time. The postman expects much correspondence with Pablo, but gets nothing but a letter from his secretary asking him if he would return some of Pablo's things from where he was staying. The postman is devastated, and in the tragic end, he loses his life in some kind of brawl, right after writing a poem for pablo entitled, "Song for Pablo Neruda". Pablo finds out when he returns to visit the island on which he was exiled. There is no way my words can depict the sorrow and feelings of this movie, you just have to see it for yourself. Something that made me feel as if I almost had to like this move was that the main character, Mario (the postman,) played by Massimo Troisi, was very very sick during the filming of this movie, and died right after it was finished filming. He never even got to see the whole thing, probably. He wanted to be sure the movie would be finished, so he never quit. So that's the story, and I love it. This was such a good movie, so I want to thank the guy who showed it to me."

 

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