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On a mission to expose the deplorable conditions and mistreatment of patients at the notorious Women’s Lunatic Asylum, investigative reporter Nellie Bly (Christina Ricci) feigns mental illness in order to be institutionalized to report from the inside. The movie delivers an intense and fictionalized account of actual events surrounding Nellie's stay beginning after Nellie has undergone treatment, leaving her with no recollection of how she came to the asylum or her real identity. Nellie's unwillingness to submit to authority results in unspeakable torture at the hands of the head nurse, Matron Grady (Judith Light). When Nellie captures the attention of Dr. Josiah (Josh Bowman) who tries to help her, Grady's barbaric tactics only intensify, leading Nellie to questions if she actually does belong in the asylum after all.

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