Central Station (film)

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Central Station
Central-do-brasil-poster04.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Walter Salles
Produced by Martine de Clermont-Tonnerre
Arthur Cohn
Donald Ranvaud
Written by Walter Salles
João Emanuel Carneiro
Marcos Bernstein
Starring Fernanda Montenegro
Matheus Nachtergaele
Marília Pêra
Vinícius de Oliveira
Music by Antonio Pinto
Jaques Morelenbaum
Cinematography Walter Carvalho
Editing by Felipe Lacerda
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics (USA)
Europa Filmes (Brazil)
Release dates
  • 16 January 1998 (1998-01-16) (Switzerland)
  • 3 April 1998 (1998-04-03) (Brazil)
  • 2 December 1998 (1998-12-02) (France)
Running time 106 minutes
Country Brazil
France
Language Portuguese
Budget $2.9 million

Central Station (Portuguese: Central do Brasil) is a 1998 Brazilian-French drama film set in Brazil. It tells the story of a young boy's friendship with a jaded middle-aged woman. The film was adapted by Marcos Bernstein and João Emanuel Carneiro from a story by Walter Salles and it was directed by the latter. It features Fernanda Montenegro and Vinícius de Oliveira in the major roles. The film's title in Portuguese, Central do Brasil, is the name of Rio de Janeiro's main railway station. The film premiered at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival.[1]

Plot[edit]

Dora is a retired schoolteacher who has become embittered. She works at Rio de Janeiro's Central Station, writing letters for illiterate customers, in order to make ends meet. She can be impatient with her customers and sometimes does not mail the letters she writes, putting them in a drawer or even tearing them up. Josué is a poor 9-year-old boy who has never met his father, but hopes to do so. His mother sends letters to his father through Dora, saying that she hopes to reunite with him soon, but when she is killed in a bus accident just outside the train station, the boy is left homeless. Dora takes him in and traffics him to a corrupt couple, but she is made to feel guilty by her neighbor and friend Irene and later steals him back.

Dora is initially reluctant to be responsible for the boy, but ends up deciding to take a trip with him to Northeast Brazil in order to find his father's house and leave him there.

Dora tries to leave Josué on the bus, but he follows her, forgetting his backpack containing Dora's money. Penniless, they are picked up by a kind, Evangelical truck driver who abandons them when Dora encourages him to drink beer and then grows too friendly. Dora trades her watch for a ride to Bom Jesus on the back of a truck. They find his father's address in Bom Jesus, but the current residents say that Jesus won a house in the lottery, and now lives in the new settlements, adding that he lost the house and money through drinking. With no money, Josué saves them from destitution by suggesting Dora write letters for the pilgrims who have arrived in Bom Jesus for a massive pilgrimage. This time she posts the letters.

They take the bus to the settlements, but when they locate the address they have for Josué's father, they are told by the new residents that he no longer lives there and has disappeared. Josué tells Dora that he will wait for him, but Dora invites him to live with her. She calls Irene in Rio and asks her to sell her refrigerator, sofa and television. She says that she will call when she gets settled somewhere. After she hangs up, she learns that there are no buses leaving until the next morning.

Isaías, one of Josué's half-brothers, is working on a roof next to the bus stop, and learns that they are looking for his father. After introducing himself, Dora says that she is a friend of his father and was in the area. Isaías insists that she and Josué, who, suspicious of the stranger, has introduced himself as Geraldo, come to dinner. They return to his house, where they meet Moisés, the other half-brother. Later, Isaías explains to Dora that their father married Ana, who he doesn't know is Josué's mother, after their mother died, and that nine years ago, while pregnant, Ana left her drunken lover for Rio and never returned. Isaías asks Dora to read a letter his father wrote to Ana when he disappeared, six months ago, in case she returned. In the letter, the boys' father explains that he has gone to Rio to find Ana and the son he has never met. He promises to return, asks her to wait for him, and says they can all be together—himself, Ana, Isaías and Moisés. At this point Dora pauses, looks at Josué and says, "and Josué, whom I can't wait to meet." Isaías and Josué both say that he will return, but Moisés doesn't think so. The next morning, while the sons sleep, Dora sneaks out to catch the bus for Rio. She first leaves beside the letter from Jesus the one from Ana to Jesus, the one Dora carried with her from the Central Station but never mailed, expressing Ana's wish for the family to be reunited. Josué wakes up too late to prevent her departure. Dora writes a letter to Josué on the bus. Both are left with the photos they had taken by which to remember one another.

Cast[edit]

Public and Income[2][edit]

Country Public Income (USD)
South Africa s / d 45,000
Germany 300 000 1,800,000(*)
Argentina 180 000 540 000(*)
Belgium 80 000 480 000(*)
Bolivia 5 600 10 200(*)
Brazil 1.6 million 4 300 000
Chile 33 700 147 000
Colombia 16 700 38 000
South Korea s / d 103 000
Ecuador 8 000 15 000
Spain 120 000 720 000(*)
United States 1.3 million 6 500 000
France 590 000 3.44 million(*)
England 200 000 1 000 000
Italy 242 000 1 300 000
Mexico 72 000 200 000
Panama 1 100 7 500
Peru 33 400 110 200
Switzerland 200 000 600 000(*)
Uruguay 45 000 260 000
Venezuela 35 600 112 000
  • Total Public  : 5.063.500
  • Total revenue  : U.S. $: 22,462,500.00

Awards and nominations[3][edit]

Year Country Award Category Result
1999  USA 71st Academy Awards Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film Nominated
Best Actress in a Leading Role for Fernanda Montenegro Nominated
1998  UK 52nd British Academy Film Awards Best Film Not in the English Language Won
 USA Golden Satellite Awards Best Foreign Language Film Won
Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for Fernanda Montenegro Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
 BRA São Paulo Association of Art Critics Best Actress for Fernanda Montenegro Won
Best Film Won
Best Director for Walter Salles Won
 GER Golden Bear Best Film Won
Silver Bear Best Actress for Fernanda Montenegro Won
48th Berlin International Film Festival Prize of the Ecumenical Jury Won
 FRA César Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
 USA Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for Fernanda Montenegro Nominated
Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film Won
Independent Spirit Awards Best Foreign Film Nominated
National Board of Review Best Actress for Fernanda Montenegro Won
National Board of Review Award for Best Foreign Language Film Won
 CUB Havana Film Festival Best Film Won
Best Actress for Fernanda Montenegro Won
 USA Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actress for Fernanda Montenegro Won
New York Film Critics Circle Best Actress for Fernanda Montenegro Won(2nd place)
 Spain Association of Film Critics Spain Best Foreign Language Film Won
 POL Association of Film Critics in Poland Best Foreign Language Film Won
 ITA National Association of Italian Critic Best Foreign Language Film Won
 USA Sundance Film Festival Best Screenplay Won
 Spain San Sebastián International Film Festival Audience Award Won
 BRA Association of Film Critics of Rio de Janeiro Film of the Year Won

Reception[edit]

The film received critical acclaim.The film was an NYT Critics' Pick: according to Janet Maslin, "Mr. Salles directs simply and watchfully, with an eye that seems to penetrate all the characters"; the film features a "bravura performance by the Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro."[4] According to Richard Schickel, the film is "an odyssey of simple problems, simple emotional discoveries, [and] a relationship full of knots that Salles permits to unwind in an unforced, unsentimental fashion. His imagery, like his storytelling, is clear, often unaffectedly lovely, and quietly, powerfully haunting.[5] Entertainment Weekly gave the film a grade of A–, concluding "In outline, Central Station recalls many of the bogusly sticky adult-kid bonding tales that have been the bane of foreign cinema for too long, but Salles, like De Sica and Renoir, displays a pure and unpatronizing feel for the poetry of broken lives. His movie is really about that most everyday of miracles: the rebirth of hope." [6]

The film is ranked #57 in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema" in 2010.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wettbewerb/In Competition". Moving Pictures, Berlinale Extra (Berlin): 16. 11–22 February 1998. 
  2. ^ Public and Income film Central Station
  3. ^ Prêmios - Central do Brasil
  4. ^ Maslin, Janet (November 20, 1998). "A Journey of Hope and Self-Discovery for Two Hard-Bitten Souls". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  5. ^ Schickel, Richard (December 14, 1998). "Central Station". Time. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  6. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (November 27, 1998). "Central Station". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  7. ^ "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema | 57. Central Station". Empire. 

External links[edit]