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Nell (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  23 December 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 21,542 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 24 critic

In a remote woodland cabin, a small town doctor discovers Nell - a beautiful young hermit woman with many secrets.



(play), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paula Olsen
Alexander Paley
Todd Peterson
Mary Peterson
Billy Fisher
Don Fontana
Heather M. Bomba ...
Twin #1
Marianne E. Bomba ...
Twin #2
Mike Ibarra
Stephanie Dawn Wood ...
Ruthie Lovell
Mary Lynn Riner ...
Janet Baring
Lucile McIntyre ...


Nell is a girl who's been brought up in an isolated world. The only people she knew were her mother and twin sister. They lived together in a cottage in the forest. Nobody has ever met Nell. After her mother's death, she's discovered by the local doctor Jerome. He's fascinated by her, since she speaks a mangled language, developed by her sister and herself growing up, "twin speak" if you will. But Paula, a psychology student, wants her observed in a laboratory. The judge decides they get three months to observe her in the forest, after which he'll decide about Nell's future. Written by Tony Kessen <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Language beyond understanding Life beyond words... Discover... See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 December 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una mujer llamada Nell  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£902,923 (UK) (17 March 1995)


£1,843,233 (UK) (14 April 1995)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The lake Nell's cabin sits on is obviously an artificial one, likely produced by a dam built on a river. Inlets like hers are the result of deep ravines in the landscape that fill up with water. The stone which extend out into the water and provide the setting for some of the film's more poignant moments would never be found naturally in such an inlet; they would have been added for the film. See more »


When the journalist from the Charlotte Tribune, Mike Ibarra, introduces himself to Nell, he pronounces his last name "E-bear-a." When Ibarra introduces himself to Jerome Lovell just seconds later, he pronounces his last name "E-bar-a." See more »


Paula: What is it with you and Nell?
Jerry: 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?
See more »


Written by Willie Nelson
Performed by Patsy Cline
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Breath Taking
30 August 2002 | by (Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England) – See all my reviews

Nell is one of the most captivating, moving and thought provoking films I have ever seen in my life. The acting all round is superb, including a truly fine performance by Jodie Foster. This film is nothing short of spectacular, boasting a strong script, beautiful scenery and excellent direction. Overall, Nell is nothing short of breath taking. I strongly advise to see it. You won't be disappointed.

27 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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