Central Station, Central Station Review, Movie Review, Film Review
Michael A. Maynez   photo

Central Station

Fernanda Montenegro and “Central Station’ were embraced by the Berlin Film Festival and in that discovery they gave a film a tremendous boost which might have been neglected in a year where so many excellent foreign films have come forth. Unfortunately “Life is Beautiful” has also been nominated for the best foreign film plus best film in the Academy Awards race. Hollywood’s logic being that they can give it the foreign film award to compensate for not getting best film. Suppose this plan backfires and a film like “Central Station” takes centerstage, remains to be seem.

Walter Salles has directed a trifle overlong journey of two very different individuals. Vinicius de Oliveira who plays a nine year old Josue and Fernanda Montenegro, who plays a retired elementary teacher, now forced to write letters for illiterates at the Central Station in Rio. The boy’s mother which uses her services is struck down by a bus and killed, leaving Josue to fend for himself. Neither one wants to have much to do with each other, yet they are thrown together, the woman in her middle age does not want the responsibility of a nine year old and he is to independent for his own good. He is determine to find a father that he has never seen out in the urbanscape of Brazil, very much like the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. Together they are reluctantly forced to forged a relationship, she hoping to find his father and once and for all get rid of him, a slow transformation of love starts binding them, but not cloyingly, which marks the very different way in which the story develops.

You not only will be moved, but will realized that there is a different Rio, that we always are shown as glittering with carnivals and not the poverty and squalor of some of its regions. It brings new understanding to the human race. See it and create a raise for human culture.

Central Station
aka Central do Brasil
Central Station Official Web Site
Sony (USA)

Fernanda Montenegro ------ Dora
Marília Pêra ---------------- Irene
Vinicius de Oliveira --------- Josué
Soia Lira ------------------- Ana
Othon Bastos -------------- Cesar
Otávio Augusto ------------ Pedrão
Stela Freitas --------------- Yolanda
Matheus Nachtergaele ----- Isaías
Caio Junqueira ------------- Moisés

Directed by --------------- Walter Salles Jr.
Written by ---------------- Marcos Bernstein, João Emanuel Carneiro
Produced by -------------- Martine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Arthur Cohn
Executive producer -------  Lillian Birnbaum, Tom Garvin, Donald Ranvaud
Associate producer -------  Paulo Carlos De Brito
Original music by --------- Jaques Morelembaum, Antonio Pinto
Camera ------------------- Walter Carvalho
Film Editing by ------------ Felipe Lacerda, Isabelle Rathery
Casting ------------------- Sergio Machado
Production Design by ----- Cassio Amarante, Carla Caffe
Costume Design by ------- Cristina Camargo
Assistant Director --------- Katia Lund

USA release 19 January 1998 at the Sundance film festival

To contact Michael send e-mail to mmaynez@aol.com
To main index www.casenet.com
Web Site by Alan Case acase@casenet.com
Original Date 21 February 1999