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Director(s): Petter Naess

Theatrical Release: 2001

Cast: Per Christian Ellefsen, Sven Nordin, Per Christensen, Jørgen Langhelle

Genre(s): Comedy, Dean's List

Countries: Norway

Location in store: Scandinavian Cinema

(1 / 2)
Ant Rating
Running Time: 89m.

Following up on his acclaimed debut Absolute Hangover, Petter Naess spins this feel-good drama about a pair of misfits trying to get along with each other and the outside world. Elling (Per Christian Ellefsen) is a neurotic, shy would-be writer who still lives with his mother. That is at least until she dies, and poor Elling is cast of the house by the health department and sent to state institution. While Elling has no experience with the outside world — though he has a very active interior world — his roommate Kjell-Bjarne is a sex-obsessed hulk mass of a man raring to get out. Initially, these two wildly different guys get along famously. Only when they move into public housing together do cracks develop in their relationship. Elling refuses to leave the apartment or answer the phone, and tries to restrict Kjell-Bjarne's movement as well. When the brawny lothario shacks up with the girl next door, Elling goes ballistic with jealousy. Does Elling accept his lack of control of the world or does he retreat into himself? This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival. - Jonathan Crow (