Sunday, December 23, 2007

Central Station

We belong to Netflix and one of the goodies they offer is that you can also watch movies online. Last night I was farting around looking for something (they say they’ve got 5,000 movies available) to watch. I wasn’t coming up with anything. Last month I watched two seasons of Ballykissangel, a terrific BBC television show about a tiny village in Ireland with strong emphasis on village life and the Catholic priest who lives there. Based on our viewing habits and on the movies we’ve already chosen to rent Netflix comes up with suggestions for movies we might be interested in viewing.

The movie they suggested I watch last night is, “Central Station”. I’ve got to say this is a terrific movie. It’s in Spanish and has English subtitles. The story centers on a middle aged lady, retired from teaching school and who now, to make ends meet, sits in the railroad station all day writing letters for people. One lady who comes to her asks a letter be written to her drunkard of a husband saying his son would like to meet him for the first time. The son, a cute little 9 year old boy named JosuĂ©, has built his father up in his mind. The reality is the guy is a sot. In the boy’s mind the man can do no wrong.

The lady crosses the street and gets hit by a bus and the kid has nowhere to go. Dora, the letter writer, assumes responsibility for him and they both set out to find JosuĂ©’s father. The story might sound simple and uncomplicated but what you see is a woman opening up to help somebody and in the process becoming a better person. It’s a love story with a good ending.

This movie won all sorts of awards including several from the Berlin Film Festival. Fernanda Montenegro is absolutely brilliant and I’m really glad I watched this movie last night.

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