Central Station (1998)


“[dictating a letter] I want to send a letter to a guy who cheated me. Mr Ze Amaro, Thank you for what you did to me. I trusted you and you cheated me. You even took the keys to my apartment.” – Dora’ Client

Number of Times Seen – 1 (29 Sep 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A retired teacher who spends her days making money at the Central bus station writing letters for illiterates tries to help a young boy find his long lost father.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall hearing about when it came out yet due to it being a foreign language film, I never had much interest in watching it.

In my quest to watch all films featuring Oscar nominated performances, I decided to give it a shot and see what it was all about.

The story is quite an emotional one since it is able to create an unlikely bond and friendship between two very different characters; a jaded schoolteacher who writes letters for poor people at the main Bus Station of Rio and a young boy searching for his father after his mother is killed in a bus accident.

The story is able to show how deep down many people have good within them that needs to be released when they find themselves in a situation that they never expected to be in.

The movie shows the rampant poverty and illiteracy of Rio and it’s quite eye opening in the way that it allows us to find a way to learn about what truly happens in these kind of places.

Fernanda Montenegro is superb in the lead role and her character arc takes her character on quite a journey both physically and emotionally.

She was quite deserving of her Oscar nomination for her work here.

Th movie itself was able to win the Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Foreign Film but lost out to Life is Beautiful (1997) at the Oscars that year.

Bottom Line – Very emotional film that creates a bond between its two main characters in an intriguing way. The film shows how sometimes the good nature that is repressed deep down can be released when one never expects it. The way that they show the rampant poverty and illiteracy of Rio is quite eye opening and allows us to get a much better understanding of what happens in these kind of places.  Montenegro is superb in the lead role and was quite deserving of her Best Actress nomination for her work in this film. The movie itself won Best Foreign Film at the Globes and at the BAFTA’s but lost out to Life is Beautiful (1997) at the Oscars. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – When Fernanda Montenegro set up her table at Central Station, real people approached her to write letters for them. Some of these real talks were incorporated by director Walter Salles and appear in the movie. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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2 thoughts on “Central Station (1998)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1998 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1998 | MovieRob

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