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Elling (2002)

Per Christian Ellefsen , Sven Nordin , Petter Næss  |  R |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Per Christian Ellefsen, Sven Nordin, Marit Pia Jacobsen, Jørgen Langhelle, Per Christensen
  • Directors: Petter Næss
  • Writers: Axel Hellstenius, Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Larry Stuckey
  • Producers: Dag Alveberg, Ivar Køhn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Norwegian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: November 19, 2002
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006L92B
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,819 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Elling" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This Norwegian comedy (nominated for an Academy Award®) concerns two men being released from a state home. Until the death of his mother, Elling rarely left the apartment where they lived; Kjell has lived in institutions most of his life and is obsessed with sex, as any virgin in his 30s might be. Thanks to a new social program, the two roommates are given an apartment in Oslo--if they can manage to live independently. At first simply answering the phone or buying groceries is a struggle, but as they taste freedom, their lives become an exciting adventure. In a Hollywood movie, these two would be cute goofballs; what makes Elling so very engaging is how genuinely awkward and uncomfortable Elling and Kjell are. Their difficulties in the world are treated with respect and realism, which makes their progress bracing and their success delightful. A charming film. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Elling is a slyly funny odd couple comedy about two misfits trying to find their place in the world. After a two-year stint in a state home in which the shy, neurotic Elling and the loud, sex-obsessed Kjell Bjarne became close friends, the pair are relea

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A feel good movie about friends February 24, 2003
Elling is a funny and at times touching film set in Oslo, Norway. It follows the lives of two friends Elling and Kjell Bjarne as they try to adjust to a normal life after having spent two years together in a mental institution as roomies. Elling and Kjell Bjarne are so unalike Elling is the knowledgably, sophisticated and weedy looking one and while Kjell Bjarne is more of a brute prone to angry outbursts. Elling is interested in poetry while Kjell Bjarne is more interested in sex. They are given an opportunity to show that they can cope on their own when the state decides to give them an apartment and a social worker (Frank). In the beginning even the simplest things like shopping or answering the phone are obstacles they must learn to overcome.
There are some serious moments but on the whole the film is very upbeat. You find yourself rooting for Elling and Kjell Bjarne hoping that the friendship they have built doesn't come tumbling down as they each make new friends and are drawn in differing directions. It's a touching movie with laughs and a few tugged heartstrings. There is a moment at the end of the movie that has you more than hoping for an upbeat ending.
Don't let the fact that Elling a foreign film put you off. The film still gives you the full gambit of emotions without you having to understand a word of Norwegian. The film comes with easy to read subtitles and a story line that's easy to follow.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Elling" Transcends the Stereotypes May 23, 2004
"Elling" is the first film I've ever seen that transcends the popular film industry stereotypes and portrays people with mental illness as fully functioning three dimensional people, with both emotional and intellectual motivations as characters in a film. The prevailing "Hollywood" characterizations of mental illness seems to use three templates to portray mentally ill characters: 1) the over-the-top violent sociopath who is a dangerous predatory beast i.e...Hannibal the Cannibal; 2) the unstable visionary savant who can hardly function but is either intellectually brilliant or has or possesses some sort of supernatural power to compensate i.e...Russell Crowe in "Beautiful Mind" or Dustin Hoffman in "Rainman". or, 3) the loveable, laughable, whacky lunatic who can't fit into society and is a walking time-bomb i.e...Jack Nicholson in "Cuckoo's Nest."
This adaptation of Norwegian writer Ingvar Ambjorsen's best selling novel is a nuanced view of the lives of two mentally ill wards of the state as they struggle to adapt to living as roommates; and they try to make sense of often puzzling and arbitrary codes of "normal" social behavior. At times it is hilarious, but just as Director Peter Naess lures you into a warm and fuzzy feeling, he gives you a glimpse at the simmering rage of his main characters Elling and Kjell. Having worked as a case worker for transitional mental health patients, I can say that "Elling" is the only film I've ever seen that "gets it right" and doesn't approach the subject of mental illness in a condescending or derivative manner. Elling and Kjell aren't lovable loonies or dangerous whackos from central casting. There is a great deal of humor in "Elling" but none of it is used to demean or stereotype the principal characters.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell your friends to see this one! June 4, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Super, super, super.
Two guys in Oslo, terminally mismatched, pair up in a home for mentally disturbed adults. One is huge and maybe a little stupid and full of rage. The other is a bright but wounded and sheltered momma's boy - but then Momma died. After years of therapy (it's not clear how long they're institutionalized), they're released to try to make it on their own, with occasional checkups from a halfway-house sort of social worker who tries to help ease their transition back into society.
Watching these two fellows cope with a ringing phone, feeding themselves, the big bad world outside their apartment, traffic, a pregnant neighbor, and an old poet with a broken car is heartwarming, a little sad at times - but always you find yourself rooting for them to find happiness.
Their small triumphs, larger setbacks, and overall progress make for a touching, unbeat, and absolutely hilarious movie.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll laugh 'til you cry July 23, 2002
There's nothing with which to compare this film. The Odd Couple? Perhaps, but I can't remember ever caring about Oscar and Felix as much as I cared about Elling and Kjell Bjarne. The entire audience was rooting for them, and the heartwarming ending made my eyes sting with tears of real emotion. I challenge anyone not to feel the same.
In spite of lukewarm reception by American critics, Elling is bound to be an audience pleaser. It's full of the knee-slapping variety of funny while simultaneously featuring many moments that pull at the heartstrings. The story follows 2 men as they venture from the safe confines of a mental institution in rural Norway. Elling (the serious, dramatic character) longs only for a basic grasp on the world around him; Kjell Bjarne, the hulking, comedic character, wants something far more basic (though not necessarily easier to come by). Their affection for each other, oddly enough is not the least bit hard to believe. That fact stands as proof that the writing is superb.
I can't recommend this film any more heartily. It will please the masses--the serious set will be happy to see a foreign film; those looking for comedy will not be disappointed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars creepy heart warming celebration of life
Creepy heart warming inspiring
Published 1 day ago by GJB
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie ever
Best movie ever. No violence or senseless drama. This movie is touching, hilarious and all heart. Original plot and difficult to predict.
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer Harper
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss it!!!!
A truly inspiring story of a most unlikely pair who find a lasting bond of friendship in a place where even flowers don't grow.
Published 4 months ago by DaH
5.0 out of 5 stars Scandinavian comedy at its best!
First saw this picture in a Scandinavian film class and fell in love with the characters. Prepare yourself for awkward yet humble individuals who are hilarious without even trying. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Michelle Guanoluisa
5.0 out of 5 stars laugh and learn
great acting. wonderful insight into how the norwegian social system and mentality differ from that of other countries. really heartwarming and funny by any standard
Published 7 months ago by jean gaunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Best ever
Touching, enchanting, charming.
Best acting I've ever seen. Ever.
Unusual story. Surprising at every turn.
Shared with family and friends. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mary C Person
5.0 out of 5 stars "Enjoyable and Insightful"
Even if you're a cynical filmgoer jaded by "uplifting/inspirational" films, this subtitled Norwegian production offers a rather special touch and appeal. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cary B. Barad
5.0 out of 5 stars A total favorite
I always recommend this movie to friends, it's hilarious and sweet without being saccharine. The ending leave you with the most lovely feeling.
Published 12 months ago by Colleen O'Hara
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Done Feelgood Movie
... and an interesting exploration of anxiety and phobias ... and how they may be overcome. Never a let down moment!
Published 12 months ago by Ralph C. Hoehn
4.0 out of 5 stars The best, or?
It takes a long time to digest something as corky as this film. Maybe I'll know I loved it in a year. Read more
Published 13 months ago by cy of thea
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