Cental Station is a beautiful and touching story of Dora, a former teacher making her living by writing letters in the name of illiterate people at the Central Station in Rio De Janeiro. This is how she meets Josué as his mother uses Dora’s service to contact Josué’s father. After tragic death of his mother, Dora takes care of Josué and this is how a journey to find the boy’s father starts.
The movie was directed by Walter Salles who for sure didn’t need to search a lot for some shocking facts about his country: poverty and above all shockingly high illiteracy rates are, unfortunately, Brazil’s daily life. In fact, it wasn’t even his intention but because the story is settled in this country such background makes an impact on the viewer. We’re shocked already by the fact, that someone tries to make money by writing letters on demand. The picture we see is even more powerful due to the beautiful music by Anotnio Pinto and Jaques Morelembaum always heard in the right moments. It’s a story about evoked hope and belief. Dora can’t stand boy’s naive belief that he’s parents didn’t break up because of the father’s drinking problems and possible domestic violance. But Josué believes in other truth: that he can be reunited with his father. This truth motivates him to find his parent but he’ll need Dora for that. Salles shows also another important belief either through the signs on a truck or a religious ceremony: religion, which emphasizes the idea of hope.
Vinicius de Oliveira was thirteen years old when he played the role of Josué and both his acting as well as the chemistry which he created together with Fernanda Montenegro won’t be missed while watching Central Station. The movie won many awards but above all it made a history during the Golden Globe awards by winning for the first time the best foreign picture for Brazil. It was nominated to the Oscars in the category of the best foreign movie and the best actress in a leading role but both Walter Salles and Fernanda Montenegro, who played Dora, didn’t receive the award. They lost with Life is Beautiful and Gwyneth Paltrow. Still, Montenegro’s nomination was very significant as it was the first Oscar nomination for a Brazilian actress.
Personally, I find this movie more interesting then other important Brazilian movie, City of God, but it’s a question of taste. Both will remain one of the most important pictures of the Brazilian film industry.