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Elling
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Petter Næss

Written By:
Axel Hellstenius, Ingvar Ambjørnsen

Cast:
Eli Anne Linnestad, Cecilie A. Mosli, Per Christian Ellefsen, Sverre Horge, Sven Nordin, Marit Pia Jacobsen, Per Christensen, Joachim Rafaelsen, Knud Dahl, Christin Smith, Jørgen Langhelle, Hilde Olausson, Ola Otnes, Per Gørvell, Knut Haugmark, Sverre Horge


 
Elling (2001)
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Movie Review by Zara
August 19th, 2007

The Norwegian Odd Couple

I'm always one to watch movies that are described as having characters who are developmentally (or mentally) disabled. I like to see if the directors, writers and actors knew enough about their subject to do an appropriate job. In the movie ELLING, they do a bang-up job, something that shines through even if you don't understand the language.

The movie centers around a man named Elling who was a shut-in with his mother. Described as an only child of an only child and a "Mama's boy," when the old woman dies and the government finds the cowering Elling in his closet, they ship him off to an institution for the mentally handicapped. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, his roommate and friend whom Elling describes as being hot for women and looking (and smelling) like an orangutan.

After two years the pair are released to a social worker in Oslo, given their own apartment with two bedrooms and instructed that they learn to live on their own or face going back to the institution. There are the typical problems that arise, ending the with pair figuring out how to cope in society, but the story is handled in anything but a typical fashion.

The characters are charming, the actors are top-notch, carrying off the two as being more hindered by their exclusion from normal life than they ever were by their diagnosis. They are two different people who learn to lean on one another for help in the world, as well as how to stand on their own two feet.

The movie was a nominee for Best Foreign Language picture at the Oscars in 2002. And rightfully so.

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