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Central Station [DVD] [1999]

36 customer reviews

Price: £16.99
Only 2 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by GX-ENTERTAINMENT UK.
5 new from £11.65 17 used from £1.05

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Product details

  • Actors: Fernanda Montenegro, Vinícius de Oliveira, Marília Pêra, Soia Lira, Othon Bastos
  • Directors: Walter Salles
  • Writers: Walter Salles, João Emanuel Carneiro, Marcos Bernstein
  • Producers: Afonso Coaracy, Arthur Cohn, Donald Ranvaud, Elisa Tolomelli
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: German, Portuguese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Disney
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Aug. 2002
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000647WT
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,617 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Languages: Dolby Surround Sound 2.0: Portuguese
Subtitles: English, English for the hearing impaired
Widescreen Format : 2.35:1

From Amazon.co.uk

In the opening scenes of Central Station, colourful crowds of Brazilians stream into and out of a Rio de Janeiro train, pushing through doors and windows. You're immediately pulled into the brutal vitality of a nation in motion, setting the tone for a picturesque road movie that charts Brazil's renaissance in a little boy's search for his father and an old woman's emotional reawakening. When we first meet Dora (Fernanda Montenegro), this frozen-hearted, sour-faced woman is the epitome of immobility: day after day, she sits in the train station selling her letter-writing skills to all comers, but often doesn't bother to mail these precious messages. When a woman who's paid Dora to write a pleading note to her son's long-missing dad gets run over by a bus, the child, Josue (Vinicius de Oliveira), is up for grabs. (The summary execution of a thieving street kid--seen in longshot--underscores the seriousness of this waif's plight.) After an abortive attempt to sell Josue for a new TV, the aspiring couch potato finds herself reluctantly propelled into an occasionally Fellini-esque odyssey through the hinterlands of Brazil's sertäo, where Dora and her sidekick find unexpected faith and family. Former documentary filmmaker Walter Salles (Foreign Land) mixes magic with realism in his appreciation of striking faces and places, but Central Station is primarily fuelled by the tough/tender performances of Montenegro, Brazil's Judi Dench, and de Oliveira, an airport shoeshine boy Salles cast over 1,500 other hopefuls. (Montenegro was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, and Central Station was in the running for Best Foreign Language Film.) No cloyingly cute child-star, de Oliveira plays Josue as a bracingly idiosyncratic brat. And watching Dora's face and soul slowly, unwillingly unclench as she gets back in motion--and emotion--is potent pleasure, even if Salles' trip does dead-end in soap opera as his Brazilian pilgrim's progress winds down. --Kathleen Murphy, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Andy Millward VINE VOICE on 2 Mar. 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is hugely impressive film-making and probably all the better for having been made in Brazil. A subtle and moving film exploring the complex relationship between a boy and a woman. Any description of the plot would fail to convey how multi-layered and compelling it is to watch (even though some reviews suggest you can't please everybody!) I was gripped throughout, a credit to Salles for avoiding the traps of over-sentimentalising or over-dramatasizing the story.
Outwardly a road movie, Central Station is ultimately a story of redemption and self-discovery, acted with amazing confidence by the boy Josue (Vinicius de Oliviera) and Dora, played by the worthily Oscar-nominated Fernanda Montenegro. This is brilliant acting, totally convincing warts-and-all performances by both players. Watch this film for the acting, if nothing else. Both are survivors, tough as old boots and hardened to life's knocks. Josue's hunt for his elusive father keeps the odd couple together despite their apparent mutual antipathy and frequent departures. Like Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation, their true feelings are only revealed at the very end.
Perhaps it's not the done thing to say this, but even a 40-something hard-boiled cinematic veteran like me found this moving. I was in tears more than once, something a million Hollywood tear-jerkers failed to achieve. Why? Simply, this is honest, naked and totally believable human emotion. This is what it's all about.
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61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
This was the most moving and thought provoking film I have seen in a long time. For a film that mostly appeared to run at a calm and studied pace I was on the edge of my seat as it always had that sense of possible foreboding - you never were quite sure what was going to happen next - but you knew what you wanted to happen! The film showed that even against the odds human goodness can prevail and the characters were very, very believable. I really didn't want it to end and it is one of those films you keep replaying in your head long after it has finished! Definitely worth watching.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Alcat on 8 April 2006
Format: DVD
Just in case you are in a hurry, I will begin this review in a non-traditional way, that is by the end. So, in a nutshell, I believe that "Central Station" is an excellent Brazilian film that you are highly likely to enjoy.
The reasons for that opinion are many. Are you interested in them? Well:
1- To start with, the plot is engaging. There are two main characters. One of them is Dora (Fernanda Montenegro), a somewhat cynic retired teacher that earns money writing letters for illiterate people in Rio de Janeiro's Central Station. The other main character is Josue (Vinicius de Oliveira), a young boy who meets Dora when his mother pays her to write a letter to Josue's long lost father, someone that Josue longs to meet but that lives far away. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Josue ends up under Dora's wing. The question is, will Dora help him to pursue his dream of meeting his father?
2- Secondly, this film is directed by Walter Salles. If you have already watched another of his films, no further explanations are needed. If you haven't, it is hight time you did. I specially recommend you to start with "Behind the sun" (= "Abril despedaçado") and "The Motorcycle Diaries" :)
3- Finally, "Central Station" has a talented cast that lightens the screen, and that makes justice to a story that we wouldn't appreciate so much if the film had actors not capable of expressing so well the nuances of what their characters are feeling.
All in all, recommended :)
Belen Alcat
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53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By "waterberry_pie" on 13 Oct. 2004
Format: DVD
when i first saw Central Station on Film Four World i immediately fell in love with it and i now have two videos of it- which i lend to everyone. This film is simply the most beautiful film you are ever likely to see- sweet, sad and funny all the way through. The actors are just fantastic-especially the main characters and the sound track is great too-once you see the film the simple but catchy music will keep playing in your head for weeks. It is a film to really savour and i would recommend it to ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE.!!!!!!!!!!!
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By M.A. McDonald on 30 April 2006
Format: DVD
This is brilliant. That's the only way to describe it, and even that doesn't do it justice.

Dora, cynic teacher retirée, writes letters for the illiterate people of her home city, Rio di Janiro, but most of the time reads the letters with her neighbour and apparently sole friend, Irine, before ripping them up and throwing them out, or stashing them in a drawer Irine refers to as Purgatory. Due to unfortunate circumstances, a small boy by the name of Josué falls under her care, and after unknowingly selling him, she gets him back, and they go on a "Sideways"/"Transamerica" type journey to find the boys father.

Hollywood could never do this film: It's far to human, real, and emotional. Not wishing to give too much away here, but this was the first and only film I have ever cried at in my life. Well worth your viewing time and money.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By mr russell p andrews on 1 July 2003
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
aiming to reclaim its country's identity, this film isexcellent in that it is sweet, harsh, funny, sad, uplifting and harrowing. it's characters aren't one-dimensional, but complex paradoxes. the director reclaims Brazil by showing us sweeping views of the land and the real brazil-the suburbs,the churches,the problems. this is what capitalist-country-produced films don't show us - the child selling, the murder (as witnessed with a shoplifter - a vital scene which gives us so much perspective in one single moment.). the acting is wonderful and this may well have you wiping tears away by the end - it did me.
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