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Central Station (1998)
"Central do Brasil" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama  |  20 November 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 27,693 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 256 user | 71 critic | 24 from

An emotive journey of a former school teacher, who writes letters for illiterate people, and a young boy, whose mother has just died, as they search for the father he never knew.


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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 36 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Vinícius de Oliveira ...
Soia Lira ...
Othon Bastos ...
Otávio Augusto ...
Stela Freitas ...
Matheus Nachtergaele ...
Caio Junqueira ...
Socorro Nobre ...
Dora's Client
Manoel Gomes ...
Dora's Client
Roberto Andrade ...
Dora's Client
Sheyla Kenia ...
Dora's Client
Malcon Soares ...
Dora's Client
Maria Fernandes ...
Dora's Client


Dora, a dour old woman, works at a Rio de Janeiro central station, writing letters for customers and mailing them. She hates customers and calls them 'trash'. Josue is a 9-year-old boy who never met his father. His mother is sending letters to his father through Dora. When she dies in a car accident, Dora takes Josue and takes a trip with him to find his father. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The motion picture for people who want to feel that they have shared a very special emotional experience... instead of just another night out at the movies! See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »





Release Date:

20 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Central Station  »

Box Office


$2,900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$35,710 (USA) (20 November 1998)


$5,595,428 (USA) (9 July 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Vinicius de Oliveira, a shoeshine boy, beat out more than 1,500 other young actors for the role of Josué. See more »


[first lines]
Dora's Client: [dictating a letter] My darling, My heart belongs to you. No matter what you've done, I still love you. I love you. While you're locked in there all those years, I'll be locked up out here, waiting for you.
See more »


Featured in Hoje É Dia de Maria 2 (2005) See more »


Preciso me encontrar
Written by Candeia
Performed by Cartola
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This film explains how Hollywood has lost touch with reality
30 July 2009 | by (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

It took me 10 years to learn of this film's existence. I'm very sorry I wasn't paying more attention. It came out at a time when I had pretty much given up on films in general and Hollywood films in particular.

How was I to know that somewhere in the world a courageous director chose to film a story that didn't involve sex, comic-book sadistic or crime-glorifying violence, fake superheroics or CGI-augmented horror? How was I to know that not all Latin directors were involved in a world of idiotic and heartless self-centered proto-fascistic make-believe like, say, Guillermo Del Toro? How was I to know that Brazilian actress Fernanda Montenegro who got robbed of an Oscar by Gwyneth Paltrow in the almost preternaturally ridiculous and superficial "Shakespeare In Love" gave a performance that is rarely imaginable at the movies? Or that Brazil could produce a film that can rival Murnau's "Sunrise" or the neo-realist masterpieces of Vittorio De Sica for the title of "best film ever made"?

I watched this multi-leveled, multi-faceted reflexion piece dubbed in French late one recent Sunday night on Radio-Canada while recovering from the flu. The tears I cried were very good for my sinus condition. But they were also cried for the fact that I was such an idiot for having let this film slip by.

If you haven't seen it yet, there is still time. Watch it and ask yourself: What happened to America that it can't tell simple, moving and true stories like this one anymore? You won't have to cry but you will anyway.

39 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Was the Academy on crack? Montenegro should have won Best Actress!!! Nijn1978
I've got a question. colbycheung328
Old asian movie very alike this one smokinjoe456
Did Dora lie when she read the letter? gobiracer
A Great Movie! CleberRech
Bus Driver and her 'friend' wech285
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