Arthur Cohn

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Central Station Review


Very Good
Heralded by critics and film fans -- and rightly so -- Central Station is the story of an unlikely friendship between the 67-year-old Dora (Fernanda Montenegro) and a 10-year-old boy Josué (Vinicius de Oliviera). Dora works as a letter writer (employed by the illiterate) in the busy Rio de Janeiro train station. Josué's mother pays Dora to write a letter to Josué's long-missing father, only to be run over by a bus moments later. Out of guilt (namely since she rarely mails the letters people pay her to write -- instead laughing over them with her roommate), she takes Josué into her home and eventually on a difficult journey to a remote section of Brazil to find Josué's father.

It's a fascinating, small, tale, held together by lush photography (and sadly, substantially weakened by a sorry, repetitious score). Montenegro owns the picture, her emotions fully riding the surface of the film. Worth a look, even if you don't care for foreign fare.

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