258 user 71 critic

Central Station (1998)

Central do Brasil (original title)
R | | Drama | 20 November 1998 (USA)
1:54 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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.


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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

A Dog's Will (2000)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The lively João Grilo and the sly Chicó are poor guys living in the hinterland who cheat a bunch of people in a small Northeast Brazil town. But when they die, they have to be judged by ... See full summary »

Director: Guel Arraes
Stars: Matheus Nachtergaele, Selton Mello, Rogério Cardoso
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Lisbela is a young woman who loves going to the movies. Leléu is a con man, going from town to town selling all sort of things and performing as master of ceremonies for some cheesy numbers... See full summary »

Director: Guel Arraes
Stars: André Mattos, Aramis Trindade, Bruno Garcia
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

André, relatively poor, falls in love with Silvia, a neighbor whom he spies with a telescope. Falling more and more in love with her, he begins to follow her around the city and realizes ... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado
Stars: Lázaro Ramos, Renata de Lélis, Sérgio Lulkin
Brainstorm (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A trip to the mental institution hell. This odyssey is lived by Neto, a middle class teenager, who lives a normal life until his father sends him to a mental institution after finding drugs... See full summary »

Director: Laís Bodanzky
Stars: Rodrigo Santoro, Othon Bastos, Cássia Kis Magro
Carandiru (2003)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Brazilian MD Drauzio Varella starts AIDS prevention in Brazil's largest prison, Carandiru, in São Paulo, where the population is nearly double its 4,000 maximum. Doc learns from experience ... See full summary »

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Enrique Diaz, Wagner Moura, Caio Blat
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When ordered by his father to avenge the death of his older brother, a young man questions the tradition of violence between two rival families.

Director: Walter Salles
Stars: José Dumont, Rodrigo Santoro, Rita Assemany
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true story of João Guilherme Estrella ("Johnny"), a young middle-class bon vivant who became a big-time cocaine dealer in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1990s.

Director: Mauro Lima
Stars: Selton Mello, Giulio Lopes, Júlia Lemmertz
Biography | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The life and times of Cazuza, Brazilian singer/poet/enfant terrible, from his start with rock group "Barão Vermelho", to his death from Aids, in 1990, showing his career, love affairs, and involvement with drugs.

Directors: Walter Carvalho, Sandra Werneck
Stars: Daniel de Oliveira, Marieta Severo, Reginaldo Faria
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of Francisco, a very simple and poor man whose dream was to see his children become country music stars, and who made all the efforts to make it happen.

Director: Breno Silveira
Stars: Ângelo Antônio, Dira Paes, Márcio Kieling
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A story about four brothers from a poor family who need to fight to follow their dreams.

Directors: Walter Salles, Daniela Thomas
Stars: Sandra Corveloni, João Baldasserini, Vinícius de Oliveira
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Boy tries to help his uncle, guilty of a murder case, to prove his innocence. He thinks the uncle has confessed the crime as a cover-up for his girlfriend, who was the wife of the dead man.... See full summary »

Director: Jorge Furtado
Stars: Darlan Cunha, Sophia Reis, Lázaro Ramos
Olga (2004)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Based upon the true story of Olga Benário, the German-born wife of Brazilian communist leader Luís Carlos Prestes. During the dictatorship of Getúlio Vargas (1930-1945) she was arrested and... See full summary »

Director: Jayme Monjardim
Stars: Camila Morgado, Caco Ciocler, Luís Melo


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?


Shot in sequence 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 The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999) See more »


É Deus Por Nós
Written by Fátima Leão, Alexandre Neto
Performed by Zezé di Camargo e Luciano Camargo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.

42 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was the Academy on crack? Montenegro should have won Best Actress!!! Nijn1978
I've got a question. colbycheung328
Did Dora lie when she read the letter? gobiracer
Old asian movie very alike this one smokinjoe456
A Great Movie! CleberRech
Bus Driver and her 'friend' wech285
Discuss Central Station (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: