Neruda (film)

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Neruda (film).png
Film poster
Directed byPablo Larraín
Written byGuillermo Calderón
Produced by
  • Renan Artukmac
  • Peter Danner
  • Fernando Del Nido
  • Juan Pablo García
  • Axel Kuschevatzky
  • Juan de Dios Larraín
  • Ignacio Rey
  • Gaston Rothschild
  • Jeff Skoll
  • Alex Zito
CinematographySergio Armstrong
Edited byHervè Schneid
Music byFederico Jusid
Distributed by
Release date
  • 13 May 2016 (2016-05-13) (Cannes)
  • 11 August 2016 (2016-08-11) (Chile)
  • 4 January 2017 (2017-01-04) (France)
Running time
107 minutes
  • Chile
  • Argentina
  • France
  • Spain[1][2]
  • United States[3]
Box office$1.9 million[4][5]

Neruda is a 2016 internationally co-produced biographical drama film directed by Pablo Larraín. Mixing history and fiction, the film shows the dramatic events of the brutal suppression of Communists in Chile in 1948 and how the poet Pablo Neruda had to go on the run, eventually escaping on horseback over the Andes.


After winning the 1946 election with the support of the Communists, Chile's president turns against them, bans the party and orders mass arrests. The senator Pablo Neruda, former ambassador and well-known poet, speaks out forcefully against the repression. Warned that he is in danger, with his wife Delia he takes the road through the mountains to Argentina, but they are turned back at the frontier and have to go into hiding.

A keen young policeman, Óscar Peluchonneau, is appointed to lead the hunt for the fugitives. He reasons that to catch his man he must first get to know him, so he studies Neruda's life and poetry. Neruda meanwhile, wanting to mobilise resistance, makes sudden appearances and leaves volumes of his poetry with people. A game of cat and mouse ensues, with Peluchonneau and his police always a step behind. As the hunt gets too close, Neruda's friends arrange for some smugglers to take him over the frontier on horseback.

Delia has to stay behind and is questioned by Peluchonneau. She tells him that every story has a primary character, with the rest being secondary, and in this story the cop is secondary. This remark unsettles Peluchonneau, who plays the dedicated cop but has never been sure of his inner identity. She then destroys his confidence completely by saying that in this story Neruda with his poetry and political commitment is reality and will endure, but Peluchonneau is merely a fiction.

As Neruda's group climbs slowly through the wintry forests towards the frontier, Peluchonneau follows them but, unable to catch up, lets himself die on the snow-covered mountaintop. Neruda eventually finds the corpse in the snow: Peluchonneau's insecure hold on reality has ended and he has melted back into fiction. Neruda flies to Paris, where he is welcomed by his friend Pablo Picasso and becomes a media sensation. Neruda mentions Peluchonneau's name during the subsequent press conference, allowing him to live on through memory.


Cast of Neruda receiving Premio Fénix 2016 for Best Picture


It was screened in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.[6][7] It was selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards but it was not nominated.[8][9]

After the world premiere at Cannes on 13 May 2016,[7] The Orchard and Wild Bunch acquired U.S and French distribution rights, respectively.[10][11] It was shown at the Telluride Film Festival on 4 September 2016[12] and the Toronto International Film Festival on 8 September 2016.[13][14] It screened at the New York Film Festival on 5 October 2016.[1]

The film was released in Chile on 11 August 2016 by 20th Century Fox,[15][16] in the United States on 16 December 2016,[17][18] and in France on 4 January 2017.[19]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 94% based on 141 reviews, with an average rating of 7.7/10.[20] and received a score of 82 out of 100 from Metacritic, based on 28 reviews indicating "universal acclaim".[21]

Awards and accolades[edit]

List of accolades
Award / Film Festival Date of Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
Golden Globe Awards[22] 8 January 2017 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society 6 January 2017 Best Foreign Language Film Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Neruda". New York Film Festival. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  2. ^ Jay Weissberg (13 May 2016). "Film Review: 'Neruda'". Variety. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Neruda (2016)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Neruda". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  5. ^ "Neruda". The Numbers. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Fortnight 2016: The 48th Directors' Fortnight Selection". Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b Nancy Tartaglione (19 April 2016). "Cannes: Directors' Fortnight 2016 Lineup – Laura Poitras' 'Risk', Pablo Larrain's 'Neruda', Paul Schrader's 'Dog Eat Dog'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  8. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (12 September 2016). "Multiple Larrain Storms In Oscar Forecast With 'Neruda' & 'Jackie'". Deadline. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  9. ^ Mango, Agustin (13 September 2016). "Oscars: Chile Selects 'Neruda' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  10. ^ Verheven, Beatrice (14 May 2016). "The Orchard Acquires North American Rights to Gael Garcia Bernal's 'Neruda'". The Wrap. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  11. ^ Hopewell, John (4 May 2016). "Cannes: Pablo Larrain's Gael Garcia Bernal-Starrer 'Neruda' Closes France, U.K., Germany, Italy". Variety. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  12. ^ Hammond, Pete (1 September 2016). "Telluride Film Festival Lineup: 'Sully', 'La La Land', 'Arrival', 'Bleed For This' & More". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Neruda". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  14. ^ Raup, Jordan (26 July 2016). "TIFF 2016 Line-Up Includes 'Nocturnal Animals,' 'La La Land,' 'American Pastoral,' and More". The Film Stage. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Gael García Bernal ante debut de "Neruda" en Cannes: "Llego con un poco de pánico"". (in Spanish). 12 May 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  16. ^ Billington, Alex (11 May 2016). "First Trailer for Pablo Larraín's 'Neruda' Playing at Cannes This Year". Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  17. ^ Newman, Nick (21 October 2016). "U.S. Trailer for Pablo Larraín's 'Neruda' Finds Gael García Bernal on the Prowl". The Film Stage. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  18. ^ A. Lincoln, Ross (21 October 2016). "'Neruda' Trailer: Life On The Run For Chilean Poet & Political Firebrand". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  19. ^ "Neruda". Wild Bunch. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  20. ^ "Neruda". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Neruda". Metacritic. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Golden Globes 2017: The Complete List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2016.

External links[edit]