Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


IL Postino - The Postman

IL Postino - The Postman
Starring:
Philippe Noiret, Massimo Troisi and Mario Ruoppolo


Rated: R for violence and some sexuality.
Reviewed by: Linda  
Release date: June, 14, 1995 Released by: Miramax

The Postman carries its weight, delivering laughter as well as tear and earning my overwhelming praise. It stars Philippe Noiret and Massimo Troisi as Pablo Neruda, the famed Chilean poet, and Mario Ruoppolo, the humble villager who is hired to deliver his mail during his exile on a beautiful Italian Island.

An unlikely friendship develops between the tow men and one life is completely transformed and made richer in the process. Ruoppolo learns to see the world and his relationship to all things in a new light - a light cast by the pleasure of poetry. Just as the art had found Neruda and catapulted him to literary stardom, it casts its spell on the simple soul of Ruoppolo, expanding his range of emotions and experiences. The love and admiration he feels for Neruda is palpable and moving. With it s sensitive portrayal of a deep, nurturing friendship between two men of different generations, the film is akin to one of my other Italian favorites, "Cinema Paradiso," which featured Noiret in another fatherly role, that of the wise projectionist, Alfredo.

Lending further drama to the film is the tragedy which was unfolding throughout its production. Troisi, who always suffered from a weak heart, collapsed during a very early stage of production. Anxious to complete the project which he initiated, he insisted on completing filming rather than schedule his much-needed surgery. Sadly, the beloved actor died one day after principle photography was completed.

As a fitting and final tribute to Troisi's talent, The Postman has been nominated for six David of Donatello Awards, the Italian equivalent to the Oscar, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Troisi) and Best Supporting Actor (Noiret). I can't imagine any other film, or any other two men who deserve the honors more.

  Frank Chris Linda  Avg. 
IL Postino - The Postman        A   A 

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