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"Her heart. Her soul. Her language are a mystery...A mystery called Nell"

Nell is about a young woman who must learn to deal with the outside world after living in an isolated cabin with her mother her entire life. When the mother dies from a stroke, local doctor Jerry Lovell goes to the home to find a frightened woman in Nell. Nell has never been around another human being besides her mother for some time, and is unsure how to act and communicate. Jerry discovers a note written by Nell's mom to make sure Nell is cared for.

Jerry is unsure how to handle Nell, since she gets angry easily and communicates in her very own language. So, he asks for help from Dr. Paula Olson, who is considered an expert in autistic children. Paula is eager to meet Nell and to bring her to a facility to study her. However, Jerry is against this idea and works to prevent Paula from taking Nell from her home. A judge decides that Jerry and Paula should stay with Nell for several months to determine what is best for her.

As time passes, Nell continues to exhibit odd behavior but Jerry and Paula learn of the traumatic events that have shaped Nell's existence, including the death of her twin sister. Nell proves to be a gentle soul that only wants to please people but has no idea how.

A local reporter finds out about the situation with Nell and attempts to meet her. Nell becomes frightened when he tries to take a picture and Jerry and Paula force him to leave. Thanks to the reporter's story about Nell, news media from around the area begin to pry in Nell's life. This forces Jerry and Paula to take Nell to a hospital, where Nell grows despondent.

At the final hearing to decide Nell's fate, Jerry and Paula still can not agree on the best treatment plan for the woman. Ultimately, Nell chooses to speak for herself, finally building up the courage to stand on her own.

| 1994 | 1 hr 53 min | 6.5/10

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