The first Academy Award for Best Picture was awarded to Wings back in 1929. In the ninety iterations which have followed there have been a wide range of winners in all categories. However, in all those years there have only ever been ten films made in a foreign language which have received nominations for the top honour (and two of those are American). One of those rarities was Michael Radford’s beautiful 1994 film Il Postino.

Mario Ruoppolo (Massimo Troisi) is a poorly educated and rather shy fisherman. When Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret) is exiled on his small island off the coast of Naples, Mario’s so intrigued by the famous poet and his ability to attract women that he takes the job as the postman who delivers his letters. Neruda is charmed by his open simplicity and as the pair gradually become friends Mario needs his help to the woo the beautiful Beatrice Russo (Maria Grazia Cucinotta).

The new 2K restoration of Il Postino is a joy to behold. Troisi, who was seriously ill at the time of filming and subsequently died a day after its completion, is perfect with his bungling comic charm. There’s a beautifully score by Luis Bacalov whose music perfectly compliments the remote and idyllic setting. Il Postino is a sweet, gentle and poetic romantic comedy which will melt even the coldest heart.


A newly produced candid interview with director Michael Radford

Il Postino is released on Dual Format (DVD & Blu-ray) by CultFilms on 15 October.