CINEMA: Wild Child or Wise Woman?

In Nell, Jodie Foster gives a fierce, beautiful performance as someone who grew up in isolation and speaks her own dialect

It's not fair to Jodie Foster and her sisters in cinema that Hollywood makes so few movies starring women. In dollar terms, this gender myopia is defensible, since guy pictures do bigger business. This year, for example, all eight of the films that earned more than $100 million at the domestic box office are stories of "a man who ..." Or, in one case, "a male lion who ..."

But even the moguls realize that women's pictures often have a gentility, an expanse of emotion, absent from True Lies or The Mask. And, hell, somebody's got to fill those five slots...

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