Nell (1994)



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The dilemmas involved in socializing a socially isolated individual are explored in this moving drama set in the Smokey mountains. Nell is not a "feral" child. She lived an isolated life in a remote mountain cabin beside a quiet lake with her mother, a hermit who suffered a series of strokes. She is discovered by Jerome Lovell, a doctor, who begins to observe her in secret. He is intrigued by her strange language which was influenced by her mother's aphasia. He is also intrigued by her hostile behavior when she is faced with strangers. His observations are interrupted by the intrusion of psychologist Paula Olsen. Together they work towards socializing Nell with the sad realization that their actions will steal Nell's innocence.
Rating: PG13
Genre: Drama
Directed By: Michael Apted
Written By: William Nicholson , Mark Handley , Mark Handley
In Theaters: wide
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


Liam Neeson
as Jerome Lovell
Natasha Richardson
as Paula Olsen
Richard Libertini
as Alexander Paley
Nick Searcy
as Todd Peterson
Robin Mullins
as Mary Peterson
Jeremy Davies
as Billy Fisher
O'Neal Compton
as Don Fontana
Sean Bridgers
as Mike Ibarra
Stephanie Dawn Wood
as Ruthie Lovell
Mary Lynn Riner
as Janet Baring
Al Wiggins
as Harry Goppel
Beth Bostic
as Jean Malinowski
Dana Stevens
as Rachel Weiss
Nicole Adair
as Autistic Child
Marlon Jackson
as Male Nurse
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News & Interviews for Nell

Critic Reviews for Nell

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (11)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | November 9, 2008
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Nell

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.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Jodie Foster is a great actor. Watch this movie just to see her performance.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Not a great movie.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

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