Nell (1994) - full transcript

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.

♪ Lilten dogies ♪

♪ Lilten sees ♪

♪ Lilten awes ♪

♪ Lilten t'ee ♪

♪ Lilten way ♪

♪ Lilten alo'lay ♪

♪ Lilten pogies ♪

♪ Lilten dogies ♪

♪ Lilten sees ♪

♪ Lilten po ♪

♪ Lilten t'ee ♪

♪ Aiee m-moo-oou ♪

Miz Kellty?

Miz Kellty?

You don't need me, Mr. Baring.
Just wasting my time again.

You know where I am.

No square dancing!

Do you reckon he ought
to be in the hospital?

No, ma'am.
My advice is,

don't go near those places unless
they pay you a heap of money.

Your father's 87 years old,
Janet. Just be there for him.

Don't worry. I ain't a-gonna go nowhere.

Been lookin' for you
all over, Jerry.

Take care.
See ya.

Thanks for seein' Papa.

Billy Fisher found her. He
delivers the groceries out there.

I guess she's
what you'd call a hermit.

She talked kinda funny too.
She's kinda like, uh...

Only one side of her face was working. You
try talking out of one side of your face.

Oh, so you seen her then? Just the
once, when I first moved out here.

Seemed to me she was doin' okay. Oh,
sure, now, she lived her own life.

Didn't know there were folks
livin' this far out.

Well, there aren't,
just old Miz Kellty.

God, it's beautiful.

Well, look at that. Just laid herself
down, folded her arms and died.

Don't look like she's
been gone long. No.

In this heat, you'd know
if she'd been dead more than a day.

Well, anything I should be concerned about?
Not that I can see.

I guess she hasn't been
outside in a long time.

Well, that figures. Last time I seen
her in town is more'n a year back.

Is this for real?

No electricity, no phone,

no running water.


She lived here all alone, hmm? Well,
that's what hermits do, Lovell.

They live alone and they die alone.

Peterson to Robbinsville base.

we're outta here!

Let's get back to civilization.

Billy Fisher found her
when he delivered the groceries?

Yeah, that's right.
I'll catch up with you.

Hi, there.

It's okay.
I won't hurt you.

Stay back!
Well, what the hell is it?

Stay back!

- What the hell is it, Jerry?
- Put the gun away.

Let go of my gun, Jerry. Come on.
Get out. She's scared.

She's scared? Holy shit! What...

Good God Almighty.

You ever heard of anyone else
living out here? No, never.

Are you all right? Did you get hurt?
Fine, fine.

Jesus. Okay, let's take
this one step at a time.

Stay here.
I'm gonna go back inside.

Jerry, I can't let you go back in there.
We don't even know what that thing is.

It's a human being,
and she's frightened.

Well, what are you gonna do?

Talk to her...
if I can.

Doana yow Nell.

Doana yow Nell. Smi'eva'dur.

An ga'inja come an smi'ev...

Please, don't be afraid.

"The Lord led you here, stranger.
Guard my Nell."


"Good child.
The Lord care you."

Man, did you see this? That crazy old
woman owned half of this damn woods.

What kind of deal's this? The first stranger
who finds her is supposed to look after her?

That means you, Jer. Oh, sure.
Just what I need.

Well, "The Lord led you here."
There you go. You led me here.

You want the Lord
to take care of you or not?

The last time I saw the Lord was in church
on my wedding day, and look how that turned out.

Come on.

Well, she's definitely over age,

so I guess we notify
the Adult Protective Service.

She doesn't need a social worker,
she needs a padded cell.

That is one seriously
disturbed lady.

Well, I'm afraid that's going to
be your territory, Jerry. Thanks.

Well, the Lord led you here,

It's okay.

All right. The toy's broken.
It's okay.

Calm down. Calm down.
It's all right.

Calm down. Calm down. Calm down.

Calm down. Calm down.

No. Calm down.

Come in.

- Dr. Olsen?
- Can you close the door, please? Thanks.

They said it was fine
to drop by. I'm Jerry Lovell.

I've got a family practice
over in Robbinsville. Hi.

This is my assistant, Diane.
So, what can I do for you?

Well, I could use some advice.

It's all right.
It's all right. Calm down.

This woman speaks
an unknown language?

Her mother was paralyzed on one side,
apparently a series of strokes.

It's possible the girl picked
up the speech distortions.

Speech distortion's not an
unknown language. I know.

It's more than that.

Well, I want to see her
right away.

How about first thing
in the morning... 9:00?

Thanks. If you're
not too busy, I...

♪ Down came the rain ♪

♪ And washed the spider out ♪

Well, no known living
next of kin.

Violet Kellty's just about as lone
as a soul can get in this world.

Hmm. Except she wasn't.
Sheriff's Department.

Now, officially, that...
creature does not exist.


There. See what you make of that.

Right here? Mm-hmm. Peterson.

Yeah, hey, Sally.

Where is she now?

I'll be right over. Yeah, thanks, Sally.
I appreciate your trouble.

You think that's how she got
pregnant... rape? I have to go.

Mary, huh?
Yeah. My Mary.

You'll be all right now, honey.
He's on his way. He's a-comin'.

Thanks, Sally.

It's okay, sweetheart.
It's okay. I'm here now.

Did you get upset?

Let's go home.
Want me to take you on home?

Come on. Come on.
There you go.

Okay, folks. The show's over.
You guys okay?

Yeah, yeah.
We been here before.


You found me.

Yeah, I'm always early.

Not a bad day.
What happened to her?

Nothing and everything.
It hits her once in a while.

Is there any obvious cause? You
want a list? Life's tough.

But she's luckier than some.
She's got a good husband there.

Ready to head for the woods?

The things people do
to their kids. Jesus.

She's not like that
when she's on her own.

Strangers scare her.
How do you know?

- I've been watching her.
- Uh-huh.


She's been completely isolated,
almost certainly mentally retarded.

Blood tests will pick up childhood
disease, any kind of metabolic disorder.

Oh. You carry a blood kit?

You think she's gonna sit
and let me stick a needle in her?

I'll hold her.

Okay now.

Do it!

Shh. Shh.

Do it!

Shh. Shh.
It's okay.

If you're right... a big if... and she's never
left this cabin or this part of the forest,

never known anybody
but her mother,

never encountered any of the images of the modern
world, never seen a car, a television,

a gun, a Hershey bar,
never heard rock and roll music.

Now, you said she can talk.

Yeah, but it's some kind
of language of her own.

We haven't had a true wild child
in this country for 60 years.

She's not a wild child. It's just
a shorthand term, Dr. Lovell.

- She's not a child.
- No. That's what makes this case so unique.

This is not your field, I know, but let
me tell you what we're dealing with here.

Some pretty fundamental issues. How was
the personality formed? We don't know.

How much is innate? How much is learned?
We don't know.

Where do gender roles
come from? We don't know.

Because you can't take a baby and have it
in a lab and monitor and control every influence.

You wanna have her
grow up in a lab?

Grow up in a lab?

Dr. Lovell thinks you're gonna do
a Frankenstein number on her, Al.

Oh, well, all right.

Let me ask you this,
Dr. Lovell.

Can she survive on her own?

Well... I don't know.

Well, all right. Suppose she cannot.
Who's gonna look after her... you?

Me? Why me?

All right.
So who's volunteering?

I can tell you this much: It's gonna
be somebody with an ulterior motive.

Everybody who cares for someone has an
ulterior motive, even Mother Teresa.

She wants to know that her life
has been of some use to others.

And so do I.
Excuse me.

Oh, shit.

Yeah, I'm on my way.

Well, Lovell, did I wake you up?

Hey, Todd. It's okay.
I overslept. What's up?

I'm lookin' at a commitment order
that's just been issued for Nell.

What... What does that mean?

It means they're gonna
take her away.

It's a court order, Jerry.
I have to enforce it.

When? Now?
That's what it says.

Can you give me some time? I guess
I could hold off till after lunch.

Try and make it
a long lunch, will you?

Well, what do you say there, Don?
Not fishin' today?


Sorry about this, Jerry.

Hoo! Hi.

- Well, we've come to pick Nell up.
- Yeah. I heard.

I've got the court order.

You do know it's in her own
best interest, right?

Did you ask her? Well,
you know that's impossible.

Tell 'em, Don.

Well, I have a court order
here that says...

if you don't get Nell's informed
consent, you're violatin' her rights.

And if you do that, I'm gonna sue you
all the way to the Supreme Court.

How can she give
her informed consent?

Huh? She doesn't even
speak English!

Well, if she doesn't speak English, she has
to give her consent through an interpreter.

What interpreter?
This is crazy.

There isn't anybody
who speaks her language!

Then I guess somebody's
gonna have to learn.

T'ee an me an t'ee an me.

Ressa, ressa, ressa me.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee...

Dr. Lovell's view seems to
be that this woman's natural habitat...

is a primitive cabin
in the heart of the forest.

Well, I take a different view.

I see a victim of abuse
and neglect.

I see a mature woman who's
been robbed of half her life.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee... Her
mother never gave her a choice.

Isn't Dr. Lovell doing
the same thing...

Hiding her away as his own
private pet in the woods?

We all know what happens
to these freak cases, Your Honor.

They get a year of celebrity, a
starring role in a few academic papers,

then they get to spend the rest of
their lives in a state institution,

abandoned by the very doctors and
scientists who claimed to be helping them.

Nell has a home. She has a life.
She's not asking for any help.

So just be sure she needs care,
before she gets cared to death.

If she's ever gonna leave that
cabin, she's gonna need skills...

- she doesn't possess.
- How do you know she wants to leave the cabin?

That's the best we can give her? I
don't think her life is ours to give.

People can help each other, Dr. Lovell. We
don't have to do everything on our own.

Okay, I think I'm gettin' the picture.
Here's what I'm gonna do.

I'm gonna defer my decision
for three months,

this time to be used for the purposes
of observation and assessment.

And I hope that by the end of this
period, this court is better informed.

- Hey.
- You sure you can make it, roughin' it like this?

I don't see an air conditioning unit.
You okay about breathing raw air?



Who's paying for this floating palace?
My department.

This project has
very high priority.

Oh, I bet it does.

- So, how long are you staying?
- Three months.

- Don't you have a life?
- It can wait.

How long are you stayin'?

I don't know.
Won't your patients miss you?

I've got someone to cover for me.
Everybody's replaceable.

So I guess you'll make full professor
on the back of this case, huh?

Sure. Why not?

Look, I'm here to do a job. Anything
that helps me do that job is fine by me.

If you want to be a Boy Scout,
go ahead,

but I'd appreciate it if you could
do your best not to screw it up.

Missa, missa, chickabee.

Ressa, ressa me.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee.

T'ee an me an t'ee an me.

Ressa, ressa, ressa me.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee.

Doana kee, missa chickabee.

Doana kee.
Nay, be lilt.

Nay tata, doana kee,
missa chickabee.

♪ Lilten pogies ♪

♪ Lilten dogies ♪

♪ Lilten sees ♪

♪ Lilten awes ♪

♪ Lilten way ♪

What's all this?

What's it look like? You never said
anything about videocameras to me.

It's the least intrusive method of
observation. Well, how'd you rig this up?

When she was asleep.
She sleeps most of the day.

Mind if I dress?


I'm Jerry.

You're Nell.
I'm Jerry.

Lilten pogies.

Lilten dogies.

Lilten sees.

Lilten awes.

Lilten t'ee, lilten way.

Lilten alo'lay.

Nay, nay, be lilt, chickabee.

Be lilt, chicka...

Missa chickabee.

Missa chickabee.


T'ee an me.

Ohh, chickabee.

Me an...

An t'ee...

and me...

an t'ee...

an me...

an t'ee...

an me.

"May." Me.
That's right. Jerry.

An me.
You. Nell.

Me. That's right. That's right.


an t'ee.

Me... an t'ee.

Me an t'ee.


An me.

Me an t'ee.

That's right.

She has an object
of self and a subject of self.

That... I've never seen such
a perfect projection before.

That's "may," me,
me in the mirror.

You'd think it would be the other way
around, but that's me out there,

almost like she's
displacing herself.

Have you run any tests?

Only blood work,
and no abnormalities there.

We'll have to run competency
tests before the court hearing,

but I'd say it's still too soon.

- I want you to hear this language she speaks.
- What is this gesture about?

I don't know. It's some kind of self comforting.
She did it when she was saying "may."

Um, you should explain the speech
degradation is misleading.

Th-That's right. Um,
the mother was aphasic,

but the idiosyncratic
word forms...

You tell me.

Ah si'fu' naish.

Ah peep'u lai' wi' neek'ty.



Missa, missa chickabee.


Lilten dogies.

Lilten sees.

Chickabee, chickabee,

You mind if I talk?

I like it here.

It's a quiet place.

You've got the right idea, Nell.

You live with people,
you get problems.

First they screw you up,
then they leave you, right?

You ever get lonely, Nell?

I never had any brothers
and sisters either.

Very unusual for
an Irish family, Dr. Lovell.

Oh, sure, you better believe it.

God, there was a family
lived next door... the Connors.

The Connors.
They had seven kids... seven.

Always yellin' and screamin',
havin' a good time.

Me watching... over a
fence, through a window.

I heard music... a band.

This parade was coming
down the street.

I'm on our front steps. Jamie Connor
grabs me, pulling me into the street.

"No, no, no, no, no." My heart's
going ba-boom, ba-boom, ba-boom.

The band's goin'...

Oh, but I was so excited.

Jamie's got me by my hand.
We're doin' this.

Some kid's got my other hand,
the band right behind us.

You get close to a band,
you know about it.

I'm marching and with the other kids.
I wasn't alone.

You know what I'm sayin'?
We weren't talking, just...

Just enjoying this
wonderful spirit.



Fo'tye Maw waw wi'a law.

Ne-Nell, tch,

Nell done kee,
onakowna Maw bin fearly.

An Maw a leess'a Nell, Maw say,

"Af'ah done go,
ga'inja come."

Ga'inja come.

Ga'inja come Nell.

Anna erna feliss, anna,
anna lilten, lilten.

Nell erna feliss.

Ga'inja, reckon?


Je'y kine'ey ga'inja.

Je'y kine'ey ga'inja, reckon?



Ohh, ga'inja.


Did you see that?
Yeah, I saw.

Did you see it?
Yeah, I saw it.

She talked... to me!
I know.

Hold out your hand. I didn't ask for that.
She did. I know.

"Je'y kine'ey ga'inja."

Jerry "kine'ey ga'inja."
You know what it means?

No! Okay, so, here's
what I've been thinkin'.

Nell speaks English.
English? Oh, come on.

Yeah. Most of the time anyway. Look.
Come here. Take a look at this.

"Af'ah I done go,
ga'inja come."

There's only one word
of pure Nellish there.

Sounds like language analysis to me, Dr.
Olsen. All right. Okay.

"Spee"... speak. "Af'ah"... after.
She's droppin' consonants.

Yeah, but...
what does "chickabee" mean?

She says "missa chickabee."
What's "missa"?

I don't know. When she's
scared, she says "tata."

- "Tata." What's that?
- I don't know yet.

"Je'y kine'ey ga'inja."

Where is she?

Oh, chicka, chicka, chickabee.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee.

T'ee an me an t'ee an me.

Look at that.

Ressa, ressa, ressa me.

- We shouldn't be watchin' this.
- Why not?

She's naked. So?

I think she's beautiful.


You think I'm planning to abuse
the doctor-patient relationship?

Are you? No.

Just because I think she's beautiful
doesn't mean I want to have sex with...

I mean, I think you're
beautiful, but...

You know what I mean.

It's okay.

No. Look, I didn't mean... It's okay.
I'm a big girl.

What is it with you and Nell?

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?

Missa t'ee.

Missa t'ee.
Missa t'ee.


I don't understand, Nell.
What's "missa"?

Missa... Missa t'ee.


Missa Nell an erna Nell!

Oh, I've got it!
Missa... little.

Erna! Erna... big. Huh?

So what's t'ee?

T'ee inna way.

T'ee inna way.

T'ee inna way.

Oh, uh...
Tree in the wind!

You're a tree in the wind!

T'ee inna way... Hey, Nell,
Nell, show me t'ee.

Come on, show me t'ee. Show me the trees.

Come on, Nell. It'll be fun.



- Tata? You're afraid?
- Inna tye'a shie, eva'dur done come.

What are you afraid of, Nell? Inna
tye'a shie, eva'dur done come an...



Eva'dur done come...


What's "eva'dur"?

Inna tye'a feliss.

Eva'dur done go awa'
inna tye'a feliss.

An Nell caw Mi'i.

An Nell an Mi'i less'a, Nell
an Mi'i go inna t'ee inna way.

T'ee inna way. T'ee inna way.
T'ee inna way.

Af'ah eva'dur done go, Nell
an Mi'i inna t'ee inna way.

Eva'dur done go... Missa chickabee
inna t'ee inna way. Yo'kay?

T'ee inna way.

T'ee in the wind, Nell.

"Missa," little.
"Erna," big.

"Tata," potato.
Just kidding.

"Tata," frightened.

"T'ee," tree.


How long's she been there?

♪ Crazy ♪

♪ I'm crazy for feelin' ♪

♪ So lonely ♪

♪ I'm crazy ♪

♪ Crazy for feelin' so blue ♪

- ♪ I knew ♪

Turn it off.

♪ You'd love me ♪
♪ as long as you wanted ♪

Turn that thing off!
♪ And then ♪

What the hell do you think you're doin'?
She's never heard music in her life!

Hey, sometimes people just do things!
Did you think of that?

It's called impulse. It's
called doin' what you want...

You ought to try it sometime! When you want,
and not givin' a shit about anybody else!

And I grew out of it
round about the age of six!


Get off me! Man!

Ahhh, peep'u lai'.

Shh, shh!

Wor'i'a law!

Wor'i'a law gone way!

Wor'i'a law gone way!

What the fuck is that?

Wor'i'a law!

What's wrong?

Wor'i'a law gone way.
What's gone away?

Wor'i'a law gone way.

Wor'i'a law gone way!

Word of the Lord. I'll get it.
I'll get it. It's safe.

I'm sorry. We shouldn't
have taken it away.

Ga'inja spee' Nell.

Ga'inja spee' Nell wor'i'a law.

Maw spee' Nell wor'i'a law fo' she
come fearly. Ga'inja spee' Nell.

You want me to read it to you, huh?
Ga'inja spee' Nell.

Spee' Nell, ga'inja.

"A sinful nation, a people...
Ah si'fu naish.

"laden with iniquity,
the seed of evildoers,

A peep'u lai' wi neek...
"children that are corrupters.

- "They have forsaken the Lord."
- A see' o' eva'dur.

They have provoked the..."
Tay ha' pok'a'law wen come.

An chil'un'a corra...

Seed of evildoers.

Show me eva'dur.

- An gonna eesa 'av a si'fu naish.
- Nell.

A peep'u lai' wi' neek'ty.

Nell. Nell.
A see' o'eva'durs...

Show me eva'dur.
Show me.

Show me eva'dur.
Eva'dur done yow Nell.

Eva'dur done yow Nell.

Eva'dur done go inna tye feliss.
Mi'i an Nell go inna t'ee inna way.

Nell, tell Je'y ga'inja
about the eva'dur.

It's okay.

Eva'dur done hol' inna rass,

an lilten, lilten, lilten,

an haaai zzzslit!

Nell, Nell, the eva'dur
hits you like this, huh?

Skoo' inna belly. Skoo'?
Skoo' in the belly?


Eva'dur done smi'
with'a skoo' inna belly.

Well, suppose your only close encounter
with men was terrifying violence?

Uh-huh. Rape. You'd tell your daughter
they were monsters, evildoers.

My God! Of course!

You'd want to warn her what they do.
I think Violet told Nell about rape.

Sure, but how?

"Skoo' inna belly."

Knife in the belly.
Pardon me. Skewer.

Nell told you that?

Well, that could be all that's keepin'
her from comin' out in the daytime...

A deliberately implanted phobia.

Why is she more likely
to be raped in the daytime?

She isn't, but she's more likely
to be seen in the daytime.

And Violet didn't want
anyone to see Nell.

Yep. I buy that.

So, what do we do with phobics?

Get them to face what they're
afraid of, neutralize their fear.

We could do that.

Hey. Uh-uh.
Not so fast.

- You're a man. You're an eva'dur.
- Wait a minute. No, I'm not.

Yes, I'm a man.
I'm ga'inja!


Guardian angel.
I'm her guardian angel.

Well, that's great.
Now you have to help.

Je'y! Pau'!

Come on. I want you
right here beside me.

You want a chaperone? For the record.
Come on.


Okay. Now's as good
a time as any.

Do I warn her, or what?

Just do it.
Act like it's no big deal.

Believe me, it's no big deal.

Turn around.


Pau'! Pau'.

Je'y missa pogie!

Mm-hmm. Pau', loo. Missa pogie.

He won't hurt you.

Thou ar' beau'fu',
o ma' love, as Tirzah.

Who's Tirzah?

Good, huh?

What, Nell?


Wan'. Wa... Wan'.

Come and get it.

- Come on.
- Wan'.


What, Nell?

- Wan'.
- Well, come on. Nobody's gonna hurt you.

Wan', wan', wanna, wanna!

"Wanna, wanna, wanna, wanna."
Come and get some.


See? No evildoers.
Just me.

Come on, scaredy.
Come on!

Whoo-hoo! What was you
doin' back in that barn?

The Wild Woman of Lake Cowetta!
There ain't no wild woman.

Oh, there ain't?
That's right. There ain't.

There ain't.
There ain't no wild woman.

Well, what kind of wild? She was
like an animal.

She ain't got no clothes on?
Buck naked!

Think she does it like a dog?

Hey, how y'all doin'?

What's goin' on?

Look, did uh, you say
you saw a wild woman...

in the woods?

And what if I did?

Well, I'd be interested.
"Well, I'd be interested."

Wanna! Wanna!
What's it called?

Pop what?

Pop, Je'y.

Pop. Pop, wanna.

What are you doin'?

Getting her out in the daytime.
She's not a dog,

It works, doesn't it?
For chrissakes.

Well, yeah, but... She's havin' a good
time. She's discovered popcorn.

Now she can go to the movies!

Nay tata.

♪ Crazy ♪

♪ I'm crazy ♪

♪ Fo' feelin' ♪

I knew she'd like it.

♪ Crazy ♪

Ahh, t'ee in the way.


T'ee in the way.

T'ee in the way.




Damn it!

Je'y! Come loo' Mi'i!

Where is Mi'i, Nell?

Mi'i inna missa feliss.

Missa feliss?

Come on.

Chicka Mi'i, lilten,
lilten aw tye.


Oh, my God.



Mi'i waw wi'a law.

Mi'i walks with the Lord?

The Lord.


That's it.

Mi'i inna feliss fo'
aw tye, reckon?



She's the survivor of
a pair of identical twins.

That's where the private language
comes from. It's twin speech.

And this repetitive gesture?
You got it.

So how long
ago did the twin die?

Well, I'd guess the age
of between six and ten.

We're lookin' at
20 years, at least.

We want her in here, Paula,

just as soon as
the court hearing's over.

Jerry thinks she should be
left where she is.

Dr. Lovell.

Ah, yes.

You know, Al, Nell has her
own way of doin' things.

I'd say she can probably
handle it on her own.

Well, um...

Uh, let me give you a little
peek into the future, Paula.

One day soon,
some hiker or fisherman...

is gonna come walking out of those
woods with a story about a wild woman.

And that'll bring
the news reporters.

The news reports
will bring the crowds.

The crowds will bring
the talk show hosts.

Nell will find
she's hired a lawyer,

an agent, a manager
and three bodyguards.

You think she can handle that?


Anybody home?


Anybody home?


Mike Ibarra.

I'm a journalist.
Charlotte Tribune.

Um, I heard you were
livin' up here.

Well, I... I hope
you don't mind me comin' by.

Look, is, uh... is it okay
if I take a picture?

Have you ever seen
one of these before?

It-It's called a camera,

And, uh, I look at you...

through this little
window here, see?

Now, I'm lookin' at you
through this window, and...

- - Hey! No, no, no.
It's okay. Really.

It's okay.

You hurt her, you're dead, buddy!
I never touched her!

All I did was take her picture.

You press?

Charlotte Tribune.

Okay. I'm sorry.

I guess I overreacted.

Look, I'm her doctor.
Do me a favor, will ya?

Forget you ever met her.

Mike Ibarra.


Well, it's like this,
Dr. Lovell.

- I'm a newsman.
- Yeah, well, find some other news.

You saw how you scared her.

Nell, you okay?

She's called Nell?

"She's called
Nell?" "She's called Nell?"

Why can't she just be left alone
to live as she damn well pleases?

You know, uh,
once word gets out,

we might as well
start sellin' tickets.

So what do we do, huh? Build
a wall around the woods?

Well, maybe she's gonna
have to go somewhere else.

- Like where?
- Somewhere where she can be protected.

Like a psychiatric unit, maybe?

So, what's your suggestion?
Check her into a Holiday Inn?

Al Paley's the best man in the field.
Let him stay in his field.

Nell doesn't need him.
So who does she need? You?

She could do worse. What have you got to
offer? What's your big plan for Nell?

I don't make plans.

That's your game...
Yours and Al's.

Go play it somewhere else
and leave us out of it.

It's "us" now, is it? Jerry
and Nell, the happy couple?

What would you know
about happy couples?

Well, what would you know
about Nell?

I've spent more
time with her than you have.

Oh, yeah, I noticed.

What's that supposed to mean?

You ever ask yourself why you
like hangin' around Nell so much?

- Great. Here we go again.
- Not exactly a grown woman, is she?

- Not exactly a threat.
- You wanna know what your problem is?

I'll tell you what your problem is.
Just what every man wants.

You're the big expert on men, right?
What'd you do, read a book?

God! Kine'ey ga'inja.
Ga'inja ressa.

Okay, Nell. It's okay.
Nell... Nell, it's okay.

It's okay. Nell... Nell, it's okay.
Ga'inja spee'.

Pau'. Say something.

Make her feel it's okay.


Pau' spee' Je'y.

Mommy loves Daddy, really.

Whatever I said back there,
I'm sorry.

I was just soundin' off.
It's okay.

What do I know?

So what are we gonna
do about Nell?

She's gonna have
to take some kind...

of competency test
before a court hearing.

Those tests don't prove a...

I know.

It's time to show her
the big bad world...

and see how she handles it.


Okay. Hold still.

Loo', Je'y.

Jus' like Pau'.

Slow down.

It's all right.

It's just noise, Nell.


This is it, Nell.

What do you say, Jerry?
Hey, Todd.

You know Dr. Olsen.
Oh, yeah.

Hey, how you doin'?
Well, look at this.

Nell, this is Sheriff Peterson.

Uh, welcome to Robbinsville.

So how are you
guys doin', Todd? Okay?

Ah, well, quiet.
I've known worse.

Hi, Mary.

Hi. All this is
kind of new to her.

You scared?

You scare-d? Well, you sleepin' pretty
good up there in the mountains?

I'm not as
young as I used to be.

Well, we'd better get on home.

Looks like you're doin' good work
there, Jerry. Just starting.


I'm not getting her this. She
hasn't eaten junk like this yet,

and I'm not
havin' her start now.

Don't you remember
eating candy as a kid?

Saturday mornings, tearing
the wrapper off a Milky Way?

The first explosion of total sweetness?
Life doesn't get any better.

Right, Hazel?

Still got all your own teeth?

Yeah, mostly.
Where's Nell?






Gentlemen, we got us
a wild woman.

Flesh and blood.

Well, what does she want anyway?

Well, I tell you. I believe
she wants a little action.

Get goin', Billy.

Hi, there, baby.

Anything I can do you for?

Now, you'll have to excuse me.

Just correct me if I'm wrong,
here, Miss Wild Thing, but...

you-you don't understand
a word I'm sayin', do you?

That's right.

You don't understand a word...

that I'm sayin', do you?

That's right. You know, it's gettin'
a little bit hot in here, gentlemen.

Why don't you just...
light my fire.

- - You light my fire, darlin'.
That's right.

Ah, that's it! What, you want...
you wanna show me somethin'?

You wanna show me them...
Them are titties.

Can you say "titties"?

Tit... Titties.


That's right. Shake 'em. That's right.
Turn all about. Right.

That's it, girl. Turn all about.
Let's do the titty dance.

That's right. Hey, I got an idea.
You want to see my body?

You... Is that what you want?

Whoo! Titties!

Let's do the titty dance!

♪ You put your left titty in ♪
♪ You put your right titty in ♪

♪ You put your left... ♪
♪ Let's see them titties! ♪

♪ You put your right titty... ♪
- No, no.

♪ You put your left titty... ♪



What's going on here?

Hey, hey, hey, hey!

What'd you do to her?
What'd you do to her?

There don't have to be no ass-whuppin'!
You just take a look right over here.

She's just crazy.

♪ Crazy ♪

♪ Crazy fo' thinkin' ♪

♪ Crazy fo' feelin' ♪

♪ Thinkin' that ma love ♪

♪ Coo' hol' you ♪

♪ Crazy ♪
Nell. Nell.

Shh, shh.
Nell. Shh.

Come on. Let's go.
Let's go.

She still lookin' at it?


Did your parents
do this for you?

You gotta be kiddin' me. My mother would
die before she'd give me a book like that.

No way. Uh-uh.

So how'd you learn?

Go on.
Tell Dr. Lovell.

Girlfriends at school.


So what about you?

Well... Come on. Don't be shy.

Come on.
Bathroom walls.

- Bathroom walls?
- Je'y?

How yo' caw this?


Making love.

Well, not exactly.

Yeah, that's right.

That's Jerry and Paula.

Makin' love.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee.

T'ee an me and t'ee an me.

Reesa, reesa, reesa me.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee.

It has to help Nell if we look
as if we're gettin' along.

That's why I let her identify
us with the pictures.

I hope you don't mind.

All the, uh, research
shows that...

children who perceive their parents
as havin' a good sex life...

grow up to make far better
sexual relationships themselves.

Is that so?

Yeah, that's so.

Did your parents
have a good sex life?

Three guesses.

What went wrong?

My daddy left home
when I was 13.

My mom still doesn't know why.

She was always
laughin' and smilin'.

We were all supposed to be
havin' such a good time.

My dad liked happy people,
and so she was happy for him.

She was so hurt.

You know what I hate?

The way we're all...

We're all trapped in these
cycles goin' around and around.

It doesn't seem to me like you're
repeating the same pattern.

Oh, sure.

I'm just playin' the flip side, right?
Nobody's gonna hurt me,

so... so I don't...

I don't feel that much,

even when I want to.


Nell, what...

Is anything the matter?

An'thin' a' matter?

An'thin' a' matter?

Doana kee.

Mm-mmm. I'm not...
I'm not cryin'.

Doana kee, missa chickabee.

Oh, hell.
Yes, I am.

Doana kee.

Doana kee, missa chickabee.

♪ Lilten pogies ♪

♪ Lilten dogies ♪

♪ Lilten sees ♪

♪ Lilten awes ♪



You okay?
I'm fine.


You wanna come?

Well, it's a pretty walk.

I just saw a TV news
outfit in town.

It's not gonna take 'em long.
Listen to this.

"The wild woman never spent a dollar in
her life, but she's worth millions."

Where do they get this shit?

We have to get her outta here.

The hospital.

You know it's the only place
where they can't get to her.

♪ Lilten pogies ♪

♪ Lilten dogies ♪

♪ Lilten sees ♪

♪ Lilten awes ♪

♪ Lilten t'ee ♪

♪ Lilten way ♪

Get away! Get those cameras
the hell outta here!

Get away!

Let go, Mary! We have to go!
It's all right.

Listen to me!
Listen to me, Nell!

We have to leave,
just for a while.

Nell, I know you're scared, but I'll be
with you. I'll keep you safe. I promise.

Nell, Jerry ga'inja.

Je'y ga'inja.
That's right.

Come on, chickabee.
Come on. We have to leave.

Okay? All right.

Todd, get us out of here!

Hold on.


Excuse me.


Almost there.
We're almost there.

No. Nell. Nell.

It's okay.

You'll have to carry her.

It's gonna be all right.
It's gonna be all right.

It's gonna be all right.

It's all right.
It's all right.

It's all right, Nell.


Nell! Nell!

Ted! Ted! Come on. All right, all right.
Let us take her.

Hey, easy! Wait!
Let go!

Take her to the room.

Mi'i! Mi'i!

Settle down, everybody!
Quiet! No sedatives.

We don't wanna set the whole ward off.
You can go in to see her...

just as soon as you're quiet.
It's all right. It's all right.

Come on, Nell.
It's Jerry.

Oh, chickabee.

Nay tata, Nell.

Nay tata wi' Je'y.

This is not her normal behavior.

She hasn't freaked out
like this for weeks, Al.

You saw the damn tapes. I'm
not happy about this, Paula.

She's out of her
familiar environment.

You've had almost three months.

I want her in here
so we can begin...

what we should've been
doing from the start.

I must have been out of my
mind to bring her here.


She needs time, Al.
That's all.

Come on.


We've got the weekend.

Maybe by Monday,
I'll feel happier.

Maybe not.

They'll shut you away!
Show them how you really are!


"My beloved is gone down
into his garden..."

"to the beds of spices..."

"to feed in the gardens..."

"and to gather lilies."

"I am my beloved,"

"and my beloved is mine."

"He feedeth among the lilies."

"Thou art beautiful, O my love,"


This isn't lower level autism.
That's for sure.

"Terrible as any army
with banners."

"Turn away thine eyes from me,"

"for they will overcome me."

"Blow upon my garden,
that the spices thereof...

"may flow out.

"Let my beloved
come into his garden...

and eat his pleasant fruits."

I wanna take her
out of here, Paula.

We can't. One more day.
That's all.

You think the judge is gonna say
he knows better than Al Paley?

I'm taking her out.

Come on. Come on. You're gonna walk.
You're gonna walk. Here we go.

Come on.
I'm taking you out of here.

I'm taking you out! Shie alo'lay.

Shie alo'lay!
Come on.

Wait a second! Here we go.


No, not a word.

Yeah, I know.

Days Inn.

Um, 601 North Tryon.

Room 221.

No, we're not going anyplace.

I never meant it
to be like this, Nell.

I'm not your guardian angel.


But J'ey feliss aw tye wi' Nell.

But I guess all that's over now.


Ahh, Mi'i.

Thou ah beau'fu, o ma love,

as Tirzah...

come'ey as Jerus'em.


How long she been like this?

She's been out
for over an hour now.

Just laid herself down
and went to sleep.

Why here?

I didn't know where else to go.

So what are we gonna do now?

I'm gonna have to take her
to court tomorrow, aren't I?


So that's it.


I could take it if
she'd say something to me.

Anything but this silence.

Doana kee.

Doana kee, missa chickabee.

Nell is on the threshold
of a hazardous journey.

We can guide her
on that journey,

but what we can't do
is turn the clock back.

She can never be a child again.

But, uh,
we're not here to choose...

between her new life
and an old life.

Her new life has already begun.

Our task here today...

is to determine
how we can best help her...

as she takes her first steps
into a wider world.

And in your opinion, Professor,
Nell does need help?

I don't think that's in doubt.

You don't think she's capable of
looking after herself? No, I do not.

What do you think she's been
doing for the last three months?

It's my impression for the past three
months she's made no progress at all.

Your counsel will have the opportunity
to put questions to the professor.

What do you call progress?
Turning into someone like you?

- Lovell, I insist.
- There's no need to be personal here, Dr. Lovell.

I happen to like Nell,

What you do to her is
personal to me, okay?

Counsel, you want
to control your client?

You and Dr. Olsen have become
emotionally involved with your patient.

She is not my patient.
She is not sick.

She throws fits. She
bangs her head against a wall.

- It was a glass wall! She didn't see it.
- Dr. Lovell, take your seat.

She displays many of
the symptoms of Asberger's...

Oh, bullshit! She just
doesn't wanna talk to you!

- Does she wanna talk to you, Dr. Lovell?
- Dr. Lovell, sit down!


Fro' tye Maw waw wi'a law,

Nell done come lone.

I-I'm sorry.

Dr. Lovell?

Spee' fo Nell.

Fro' tye Maw waw wi'a Lord,

Nell done come lone.

She says since her mother died,
she's been alone.

Nell bin tata.
She's been afraid.

Bu' alo'so tata, alo'lay.

Anna kine'ey law, he...

He lilten us'kee, us'erna kee.

frightened everywhere.

The sweet Lord
soothes our tears,

our many tears.

Our world has...
many people in it, Nell,

people who can be your friends.


Alo'so... done go.

Reckon? Wanna?

But you have
many things to learn.

Erna t'ang fo' know'n.

Don't you want that?


Yo' ha' erna t'ang.

You have big things.

Yo' know'n erna t'ang.

You know big things.

Ma' yo' nay seen inna alo'sees.

But you don't look
into each other's eyes.

Yo' aken af'a lilta-lilt.

And you're...
hungry for quietness.

Ah done pass'a missa lye.
I've lived a small life.

Ah know'n missa t'ang.

I know small things.

I know... loved ones.

J'ey... an Pau...

an Maw... and Mi'i.

An ah know'n tha'
alo'so done go.

I know everyone goes.

Alo'so done go away.

Everyone goes away.

An Nell...
Nell lone.

J'ey ressa wi' J'ey,

an Nell ressa wi' Nell.

Yeah. I guess so.

Nay tata fo' Nell.
Don't be frightened for Nell.

Nay kee fo' Nell.

Don't weep for her.

No ah'ha erna keena'n yo.

I have no...

greater sorrows than you.


missa chickabee?


Is Ruthie still asleep?


Almost there.

Well, has everybody
got everything they need?

Todd, you gotta tell me where I can
find someone who can cook like this.

How can she cook
and bake in life?

You gotta grow up
in the woods a little bit.

Hey, what'd I tell ya? You just
start eatin' and they'll show up.

It never fails. We finally made it.
I don't believe it.

Nell, do something
about those hills, will ya?

Happy birthday, darlin'.

Happy birthday.

Hey, Paula.
Come on, Ruthie.

Isn't she sweet?

How are ya?
How are ya?

Bass ain't hittin'
this stink bait today.

Well, they ain't gonna hit
nothin' if you don't hush up.

What you usin', Don?
Old spinner.

You know Mr. Bass
can't resist that.

I can't tell you how many times
I've seen Myrtle Jean and Clara...

and the little baby Harris out there on
the sidewalk by the cafe, just a-cryin'.

Just a little bit.

Try one.
Ooh, yeah.

Mmm. That's good.

See that?
And to think...

I was the big shot
who was gonna change her life.

You're not the only one.
But you did.

Didn't you know?
You were the first.

The first what?
To need her.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee.
Chicka, chicka, chickabee.

T'ee an me an t'ee an me.

Thee and me and thee and me.

Reesa, reesa, reesa me.

Reesa, reesa, reesa me.

Chicka, chicka, chickabee.
Chicka, chicka, chickabee.

You remember that.