Last night we watched "Nell" which is a fictionalized account of a young woman with developmental disability, most of which is environmental. The movie wasn't too popular because it accurately depicted prejudice by normal people against someone with a learning disability. Nell felt life on a more emotional level than our society expects and almost got herself institutionalized.
I saw the movie as a allegory about all people with disabilities, how the differences can result in exploitation (side show), discrimination, abuse etc.
We are a long way from accepting each other as we really are but we should try. The world can be destroyed by people like the Nazi's who carried intellectual argument to the illogical extreme of exterminating those who were not Aryan. Inside of many cultures is a similar desire that is held back by public approbation, but just barely.
The movie will make some people - like the critics - squirm. Nobody said they were not bigots.
Jerry (Liam Neeson): It's like... there's no one else in the world. Like she doesn't need anybody.
Can you live your whole life that way, or does it drive you crazy in the end?
To say that Jodie Foster was amazing would be an understatement, she completely disappeared into the role and was no longer playing a character; she was, for all intent and purposes, Nell. What's more amazing was that I could somewhat pick up the supposed made up language Nell spoke in the film; even before Paula Olsen (played by Natasha Richardson) revealed that she may be speaking English, it was actually a little bit decipherable. It sounded just as they explained it: [SPOILERS] English but with a really thick accent and she was dropping the vowels in some of the words; plus some words ran together making it seem like one word. It basically, by now-a-day's term, a kind of "mush-mouth" English. Overall, the story was really engaging. It was deceptively compelling enough to make me tune in when I happened by it scrolling through the list of free movies on HBO. The character was indeed a fascinating case but her story seemed so tragic when you finally comprehend what had happened to her family. Everyone played their parts so beautifully, especially Foster but Neeson and Richardson had genuine on-screen chemistry as well. Pretty cool film and great cast, very well acted.