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movie review out of 4 Movie Review: Nell

Starring: Jodie Foster, Liam Neeson
Director: Michael Apted
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 113 Minutes
Release Date: December 1994
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Natasha Richardson, Richard Libertini, Nick Searcy, Robin Mullins, Jeremy Davies, O'Neal Compton

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

In this course students we will study in detail a native speaker of an unknown language. For this we have contracted an academy award winning actress by the name of Jodie Foster. To direct her we have an equally acclaimed director by the name of Michael Apted.

Although Foster's is a sole performance we have arranged to have well known actors Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson play learned doctors who are studying this native speaker who we will refer to simply as NELL. Neeson and Richardson have no real parts, but we fear you may be bored silly by Foster's pedantic and excessively earnest performance if we do not have someone else in the movie even if they are an after thought.

As you watch scene after scene of NELL speaking in tongues, you will eventually either fall asleep or begin to actually understand the language since it is a sort of pig Latin. We recommend sleep, but you can choose. If you watch Foster's eyes, you will see that she appears to either be on some mind altering drug or is herself falling asleep. We should warn you there is a final exam where you will be asked to say "Guardian Angel" in Fosterspeak.

Some nationally known reviewers have put this course in their top ten of the year list while others have it on their bottom ten. This may confuse you. We suspect that after 15 minutes of this course you will have made up your mind but will be worried that you are being too hasty in your judgment.

Well, there are those of you who may be tempted to stay through the entire course although it runs a tediously long 1:53. You may think that the course has to get more interesting as it evolves. Be under no such illusion. The tone of the show is major serious. Listen up and don't worry that we will break the soporific mood by any levity.

Copyright 1995 Steve Rhodes

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