Il Postino: The Postman

  • Review Date: August 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1995

Common Sense Media says

Romance, gorgeous words, and the beauty of Italy.
  • Review Date: August 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1995

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Brief glimpses of beatings at a political rally.

Sex

Romantic seduction.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie's subtitles and adult themes, although never offensive, push it away from what's comfortable for preteens.

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What's the story?

In this fictional account of the Chilean poet's exile in Italy, Pablo Neruda helps a simple man find new purpose and joy through the beauty and inspiration of poetry. The dialogue is in Italian, with subtitles. Life in a quaint fishing community takes on new meaning for Mario Ruoppolo (Massimo Troisi) when he accepts a job as a postman for a single address, that of the famous Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret). Seeking refuge from an arrest warrant on this small Italian island, the exiled Chilean poet is inundated with mail, so the two see each other often. The poet's words so enflame Mario's heart that he falls in love with the beautiful Beatrice (Maria Grazia Cucinotta). To win her over, Mario borrows a few of the Maestro's lines to great success. Even after the warrant is lifted and Neruda returns to his homeland, Mario carries with him -- through the love for his wife and son and his own impassioned acts -- the values their friendship has stamped on him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

IL POSTINO (The Postman) is one of those rare and passionate movies that make you want to rush out to a bookstore and lose yourself in endless shelves of printed pages. It so eloquently captures the spirit of the creative mind that seeing it might even inspire teenagers with an aversion to poetry to give it another try.

The Nobel Prize-winning poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda wrote about the beauty of everyday life, and gave voice to those with no outlet for their own joys and sorrows. Played wonderfully by Philippe Noiret, he exudes a warmth and a passion that far exceed his girth. The movie's tender humor comes mostly in his exchanges with the postman and aspiring communist Mario. The poet always has concrete answers to his curious friend's questions, even sticklers like "How do you become a poet?" And, there's a hint of Cyrano de Bergerac to this story, in that Mario relies on his friend's words to seduce his love until he gains confidence in his own voice.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about historical fiction. Are movies a good source of accurate information? Why do film writers and directors make changes in real stories, people, and events? Parents may also want to use this movie as an opportunity to expose their teens to some of their favorite poetry.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 14, 1995
DVD release date:January 14, 2003
Cast:Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Massimo Troisi, Philippe Noiret
Director:Michael Radford
Studio:Miramax
Genre:Drama
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:Parental Guidance Suggested

This review of Il Postino: The Postman was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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