Il Postino: The Postman
|Il Postino: The Postman|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Radford|
|Produced by||Mario Cecchi Gori
Vittorio Cecchi Gori
Maria Grazia Cucinotta
|Music by||Luis Enríquez Bacalov|
|Cinematography||Franco Di Giacomo|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
|Running time||108 minutes|
Il Postino: The Postman (Italian: Il postino) is a 1994 Italian film directed by Michael Radford. The film was originally released in the U.S. as The Postman, a straight translation of the Italian title. However, since the release of Kevin Costner's post-apocalyptic film of the same name, the film has been released on DVD as Il Postino: The Postman.
The film tells a fictional story in which the real life Chilean poet Pablo Neruda forms a relationship with a simple postman who learns to love poetry. It stars Philippe Noiret, Massimo Troisi, and Maria Grazia Cucinotta. The screenplay was adapted by Anna Pavignano, Michael Radford, Furio Scarpelli, Giacomo Scarpelli, and Massimo Troisi from the novel Ardiente paciencia by Antonio Skármeta. In 1983, Skármeta himself wrote and directed the film "Ardiente paciencia" (English translation: "Burning Patience), which he later adapted to the novel of the same name in 1985.
Writer/star Massimo Troisi postponed heart surgery so that he could complete the film. The day after filming was completed, he suffered a fatal heart attack.
Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet, in about 1950, is exiled to a small island in Italy for political reasons. His wife accompanies him. On the island, local Mario Ruoppolo is dissatisfied with being a fisherman like his father. Mario looks for other work and is hired as a temporary postman with Neruda as his only customer. To get the job, he must declare himself a communist to keep the postmaster happy. He uses his bicycle to hand deliver Neruda's mail (the island has no cars). Though poorly educated, the postman eventually befriends Neruda and becomes further influenced by Neruda's political views and poetry.
Meanwhile, Mario falls in love with a beautiful young lady, Beatrice Russo, who works in her aunt's village cafe. He is shy with her, but he enlists Neruda's help. Mario constantly asks Neruda if particular metaphors he uses are suitable for his poems. Mario is able to better communicate with Beatrice and express his love through poetry. Despite the aunt's strong disapproval of Mario, because of his sensual poetry (which turns out to be largely stolen from Neruda), Beatrice responds favorably.
The two are married. The priest refuses to allow Mario to have Neruda as his best man, due to politics; however, this is soon resolved. This was because Di Cosimo was the politician in office in the area with the Christian Democrats. At the wedding, Neruda receives the welcome news that there is no longer a Chilean warrant for his arrest, so he returns to Chile.
Mario writes a letter but never gets any reply. Several months later he receives a letter from Neruda. However to his dismay it is actually from his secretary, asking Mario to send Neruda's old belongings back to Chile. While there Mario comes upon an old phonograph and listens to the song he first heard when he met Neruda. Moved by this he makes recordings of all the beautiful sounds on the island onto a cassette including the heartbeat of his soon-to-be-born child.
Several years later, Neruda finds Beatrice and her son, Pablito (named in honor of Neruda) in the same old inn. From her, he discovers that Mario had been killed before their son was born. Mario had been scheduled to recite a poem he had composed at a large communist gathering in Naples; the demonstration was violently broken up by the police. She gives Neruda recordings of village sounds that Mario had made for him.
- Philippe Noiret – Pablo Neruda
- Massimo Troisi – Mario Ruoppolo
- Maria Grazia Cucinotta – Beatrice Russo
- Renato Scarpa – Telegrapher
- Linda Moretti – Donna Rosa
- Mariano Rigillo: Di Cosimo
- Anna Bonaiuto: Matilde
- Simona Caparrini: Elsa Morante
Whereas the novel and the 1985 film were set in Chile, with Neruda living in his home at Isla Negra around 1970, Il Postino: The Postman moves the setting to Italy in about 1950. The film is set and was partially filmed on the island of Salina, of the volcanic Aeolian Island chain off the north coast of Sicily, as well as on the island of Procida, gulf of Naples. After the film was released, Salina's Pollara Beach suffered erosion from motorboats and vandalism from tourists.
In 1994 to promote the film, Miramax published The Postman (Il Postino): Music From The Miramax Motion Picture, which besides the film's score, composed by Luis Enríquez Bacalov, includes Neruda's poems recited by many celebrities. There are a total of 31 tracks.
In 2002 CAM Original Soundtracks released a 17 track version of the score (CAM 509536-2) which was mastered in Dolby Surround.
For the 2010 opera based on the film see Daniel Catan.
The film was very well received. Rotten Tomatoes reports that 92% of the critics liked the film, based on 25 reviews. It received a score of 81 on Metacritic, indicating "Universal Acclaim", based on 13 critic reviews.
- The film's score, composed by Luis Enríquez Bacalov, won the Academy Award for Best Music (Original Dramatic Score) and (as well as a BAFTA Award).
- The film was also nominated for: Best Picture; Best Director (Michael Radford); Best Actor in a Leading Role (Massimo Troisi); and Best Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published).
In the categories for Best Actor and Best Writing, Troisi received posthumous nominations.
- The film won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language.
- The film's score, composed by Luis Enríquez Bacalov, won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music (as well as an Academy Award).
See also 
- The official Academy Awards database refers to it as The Postman (Il Postino)
- A poster with the title The Postman is reproduced in its profile at the Internet Movie Database
- Tourists threaten Il Postino beach
- Il Postino: The Postman Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes (accessed on May 17, 2010)
- Il Postino: The Postman Reviews at Metacritic (accessed on June 24, 2010)
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Il Postino: The Postman|
- Official website
- Il Postino: The Postman at the Internet Movie Database
- Il Postino: The Postman at Rotten Tomatoes