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First-Time Watch Review - Nell

by Dana Andersen. Published Sat 21 Nov 2020 11:02

Movies in the 90’s were awash with the story of wild children being found, raised by wolves or bears away from civilisation, so when the board room meeting for Nell came around and it was about an adult rather than a child, they must have really thought they were shaking things up.

As it happened, it wasn’t all that unique or abstract, but at least it was interesting.

Following good guy Liam Neeson as a doctor heading out to check on an elderly member of the community, who lives in a cabin away from other people.

Unfortunately, they’re dead, and they’ve left behind Nell, a woman who hasn’t been educated, she hasn’t even been taught to speak.

Once you start to think too far into it, its really odd that she lived out there with someone, and yet they never taught her to speak.

Even more strange is the fact that her ‘language’ is made up partially of english words with dropped vowels, so her guardian must have spoken to her at some point.

It’s not the worst plot hole a movie can have, but it is a frustrating one to dwell on.

If you suspend your disbelief just a little, Jodie Foster gives a fantastic performance, she really comes across as though she doesn’t understand social cues and normalities, such as not exposing herself to men in a bar.

She and Liam Neeson also have a charged chemistry, making it all the more interesting and unexpected for a movie of this time to have him end up with the other doctor living and working with Nell.

Although in modern times, with real life cases of ‘wild children’ falling to obscurity, this is a story that lacks popularity or specific interest, it’s a thought provoking and interesting movie, with strong performances and a cosy feeling to it.

It’s certainly still worth a watch today, if only out of curiosity.


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