Oscar Actors: Montenegro, Fernanda

Brazilian Fernanda Montenegro won the Best Actress Award at the Berlin Film Festival for her astonishing performance in Walter Salles' humanistic drama “Central Station.”

She then won critical praise from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, which declared a tie between her and Ally Sheedy, the National Board of Review, and a Golden Globe nomination for Actress in a Drama.

Her character, Dora, is not a particularly sympathetic character, and the fact that Montenegro is a Brazilian, makes her achievement all the more striking. Very few actress have been nominated for a foreign-language film, especially one that is not from Europe.

Some critics have compared the film to the Italian neo-realist cinema of the 40s, specifically the work of Vittorio De Sica, though Salles' film is much more stylized (just look at the lighting).

The winner that year was Gwyneth Paltrow for “Shakespeare in Love.”