Nell

Nell

53%
  • PG-13, 1 hr. 52 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Michael Apted
    In Theaters:
    Dec 14, 1994 Wide
    On DVD:
    Feb 3, 2004
  • Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Nell
    2 minutes 20 seconds
    Added: May 9, 2008

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Nell Reviews

Page 1 of 47
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2010
How in the hell did Jodie Foster seriously get an Oscar nomination for this, possibly the weirdest film to ever be taken seriously on the public stage? I mean, I get the message of the film overall: the fact that those who are alternative don't stand a chance in a society that prides itself on revealing the hidden truths everywhere they may be hiding. Still, does anyone really want to stand up and say that Foster's performance as the nearly mute, and very animalistic Nell, is great, or even remotely realistic? She looks so hair brained, that a parody performance would be unrecognizable compared to this film. I mean seriously, in what universe is this okay? Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson make an interesting duo as the scientists who evaluate Nell, but besides that there is no sense, honesty, or truth in any of these performances. It's bland, while also being hyper animated with the feral yowls of its lead, and the strange fight for privacy that stirs the story. Seriously, it's not even good for a bad movie; it's just pure gross cheesiness.
Red L

Super Reviewer

April 29, 2007
Jodie Foster is a great actor. Watch this movie just to see her performance.
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

December 24, 2007
Not a great movie.
FiLmCrAzY
FiLmCrAzY

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2007
i liked this film i thought it was inspirational and heart warming and probably jodie fosters best acting ever she did a performance of a lifetime and a really good film and really worth a watch
Lady D

Super Reviewer

September 20, 2006
A unique and original film, Jodie Foster plays a great part in this and is a very intersting story.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2007
Gripping and emotionally rewarding, this offbeat story never compromises its clear-eyed point of view.
thmtsang
thmtsang

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2007
This one was a bit weird about a women found in the woods.
Drew S

Super Reviewer

February 17, 2007
You know that Jodie Foster was thinking "Oscar! Oscar!" to herself when she signed on for this terminally stupid hunk of pap.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2007
Jodie Foster ego project that seems to have been conceived for the sole reason of bagging a best actress oscar ("ha ha" as Nelson Muntz would say.) Very worthy, and oh so very dull.
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

November 7, 2006
Foster is excellent in this movie.
John B

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2014
Not one of Foster's best pieces of work. I think the Academy nod was given in appreciation for one of the best actors of the decade but Foster has done much more compelling things both before and afterwards.
Ivan D

Super Reviewer

February 20, 2011
Though certainly not a 'great' film in any way, "Nell" is probably an ideal film to be shown on Sociology classes. It's a tale about the eponymous girl who was raised in extreme isolation, talking in unfinished old English, and often initially mistaken to be inflicted with mental retardation. Jodie Foster(in perfect Oscar-bait mode) gave a very believable, often unrecognizable rendition of her, stripping of the intelligence, psychology and measured calculations of Clarice Starling(a role that launched her A-list status in Hollywood) and ably portrayed the deficiency of her actions resulted by lack of social exposure, and the uncommon depths and purity of her heart brought forth by not being able to do so.

Liam Neeson was quite good(though a bit stiff, I may say) as the concerned Dr. Lovell, a character that, along with Nell herself, formed the film's primary emotional connection whose slow development was very prevalent throughout. Yes, "Nell" is a pure tear-jerker for the easily touched, but for the more experienced film-goer that has gone through and endured so much Hollywood cheese, 'tears' is never impossible, but an almost otherworldly 'sob' is quite pushing it. Which brings me to my personal conflict as to "what will be the real reason if ever I let out a tear for the film?" Will it be the penetrating human drama displayed? Or will it be a genuine thump into my heart regarding Liam Neeson's struggles to cope up with her real-life wife Natasha Richardson's(who played Paula Olsen in the film) untimely death? Seeing them all happy and hugging and kissing each other in the film makes me lean on the latter more.

"Nell" isn't just about Nell herself and her subsequent integration into mainstream reality. At some point, it's also about the doctors themselves. And as what Richard Libertini's character Dr. Paley stated(a quote that lingered with me long after the film has ended): "Even caring has an ulterior motive". Beyond all our aspirations to help others, to give meaning to other less fortunate people's lives, is an unconscious, buried search for our own and an impulse to internally conform with how other people may view us. Dr. Paley followed it up with the claim that even Mother Teresa's unconditional caring in Calcutta is truly a mission for her existential re-assurance. That may be debatable, but the film's clear and considerable articulacy of the sociological human condition clearly isn't.
Erin C

Super Reviewer

November 6, 2010
This movie was so good! Foster was so convincing in her role, and Neeson and Richardson were perfect picks for their characters. It was so touching (and sad at times), and I found myself mesmerized by Foster's character, Nell.
Jason R

Super Reviewer

April 11, 2010
Jodie Foster is amazing in this film, and gives one of the best performances I've ever seen! Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson are equally as good. The fact that these two actors were not only in love on screen but off-screen as well, and with the tragic passing of Richardson made watching these two actors who would become Husband and Wife pretty heartbreaking and it was hard not thinking about it as the movie was on. But the one thing this film does do is showcase the love they had for each other, and that is a very special thing.
This is a very special film, one that not many critics like but like always I say screw the critics just lose yourself in the movie and enjoy, because it is a good one.
Audrey L

Super Reviewer

June 3, 2009
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Sarah P

Super Reviewer

May 20, 2009
An enjoyable tale. Jodie Foster does a great job of portraying a type of person that has very rarely existed.
Lee K

Super Reviewer

April 12, 2008
The always great jodie foster shines in this too. A must see
Robert F

Super Reviewer

February 23, 2008
Deeply moving. I was a little apprehensive, as the DVD cover made it look a bit boring, but it was great. I'm so glad I watched it. Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson (probably my favourite of the Redgrave-Richardson family of acting dinosaurs) both gave very strong performances, but it was Jodie Foster who was probably at the best that I've ever seen her.
Ina S

Super Reviewer

November 1, 2006
Weird and clever. Unfortunately some lengths and too preachy - but Jodie Foster is brilliant. Wouldn't rewatch it, though.
October 14, 2006
I am fascinated by stories about feral children (or, in this case, near-feral adults) but as soon as this movie hit the halfway mark, it headed downhill. What started off as an interesting psychologically-driven character study turned into a cliched story of how the young and innocent can teach us to be better people. And I have never liked those stories, much less when they feel as forced as this one. Mix that with a horrific "emotional person makes an emotional speech in a courtroom and wins for no apparent reason" ending, and you have something that started off interesting but soon fell completely apart. Disappointing.
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