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Top Customer Reviews
Nell is a poignant, emotional drama that saddens as well as inspires you; it is the kind of tearjerker in which your tears of empathy and concern are accented by a smile and sense of heartwarming joy. The story is set deep in the wilderness of western North Carolina, where an old woman has lived for years all by herself. People always thought she lived alone, at least, until she died and the local doctor discovered a pitiful woman-child hiding inside the shack, the only home she had ever known.Read more ›
Liam Neeson's performance is described by one of the editorial reviewers on this page as being "at his teddy bear best." I think that sounds slightly emasculating -- he put more positive, warm energy into this film than many actors project in their entire careers. Show some appreciation! Come on!Read more ›
When the elderly woman dies, Nell is left alone in the wilderness. She is terrified when people come to the house and she is found. She is deemed a "Wild Child". Enter Liam Neeson as the local visiting doctor and Natasha Richardson as a research psychologist that the doctor contacts. They study Nell closely and they both have different goals for her as the story unfolds.
To say much more would most certainly ruin the movie ...
This movie was compelling, deeply moving, and finally deeply satisfying. It will linger in your mind for days and days after viewing it. This movie is a keeper and may become a classic in the years to come. EXCELLENT.
The story is also a lot more sophisticated than most. It is based on a play or story by the same person who wrote the screenplay for Shadowlands (which was also a beautiful and haunting movie, although very different from this). I believe the title of the original story was "Idioglossia," which conveys something of the fundamental idea. Idioglossia refers to the condition of speaking a "private language." Philosophers such as Wittgenstein have debated whether it is even possible to have a completely private language, since a language is designed to communicate, i.e. to share meaning with others, while a private language would defeat that intention. However, it is known that identical twins do sometimes create semi-private languages which allow them to communicate with each other, to the exclusion of all other human beings. In addition, when people grow up in very unusual circumstances, this may affect their speaking in ways that cause them to be unintelligible to others and even to be perceived as crazy and incompetent.
NELL deals with these issues in a context that calls into question some of the premises of law, "mental health" and modern psychological research. The plot is contrived and simplistic in some ways. The penultimate scene in the courtroom requires some suspension of disbelief, although I found that it was both powerfully acted and beautifully written -- if one was willing to take it on its own terms.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Impressive performance by Jodie Foster. Plausible story line in an "eva'dur" world for the survivor of a pair of twins born of a rape and partial paralysis of Nell's... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Bob G.
What a great movie! I can't believe I let 22 years go by before I saw it!Published 27 days ago by Mickaroo
One of Jodie Foster's greatest roles. Great story, wonderfully told.Published 1 month ago by Ed Jones
I showed it to my nursing students as they are studying mental health this semester.Published 1 month ago by Avis Morrow
Plenty has already been said about this great movie. Watch it. You want be sorry.Published 1 month ago by J. Duncan