Elling (2001)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  16 March 2001 (Norway)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 11,769 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 95 user | 67 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and... See full summary »


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Sven Nordin ...
Marit Pia Jacobsen ...
Frank Åsli
Per Christensen ...
Hilde Olausson ...
Ola Otnes ...
Eli Anne Linnestad ...
Johanne (as Eli-Anne Linnestad)
Cecilie A. Mosli ...
Cecilie Kornes (as Cecilie Mosli)
Joachim Rafaelsen ...
Haakon Willum
Per Gørvell ...
Eriksen (as Per Gørvel)
Knud Dahl ...
Waiter at bar
Knut Haugmark ...


When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and female-obsessed virgin in his 40s. After two years, the men are released and provided with a state-funded apartment and stipend with the hope they will be able to live on their own. Initially, the simple act of going around the corner for groceries is a challenge. Through a friendship born of desperate dependence, the skittish Elling and the boisterous, would-be lover of women, Kjell Bjarne, discover they can not only survive on the outside, they can thrive. But as their courage grows, the two find oddball ways to cope with society, striking up the most peculiar friendships in the most unlikely places. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They're packed and ready for the greatest adventure of their lives. All they have to do is get out of the house.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 March 2001 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

Brødre i blodet  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


NOK 15,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,606 (USA) (31 May 2002)


$313,436 (USA) (4 October 2002)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Every scene from Elling's neighborhood were shot around Majorstuen, on Oslo's west side. The locations, such as the grocery store where he hides his poems in packages of sauerkraut, and the diner where they eat dinner are all very real places. Both in name and appearance the shop and diner look exactly the same today. See more »


[Ticket ordering continued]
Train ticket salesman: That'll be 130 kroner per ticket.
Elling: 130 kroner? The last time mother and I took the train to Larvik the ticket cost 25.
Train ticket salesman: That must have been about 30 years ago.
Elling: Yes
See more »


Followed by Mother's Elling (2003) See more »


Se På Meg
Lars Lillo-Stenberg
(L. Lillo Stenberg)
2001 Universal Music Publishing
(c) 2001 Lars Lillo-Stenberg
See more »

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User Reviews

Among the best Norwegian films to date
13 September 2005 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Elling has become one of the best Norwegians film to date and it holds a special position because it's probably one of the first Norwegian movies to be exported and viewed by people in a great variety of countries all over the world. And with good reason. Elling was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film and that probably gave a lot of promotion. Several other Norwegian films have been nominated for the same category, but no one has had such a great success outside Norway as Elling.

Elling follows the two characters Elling and Kjell Bjarne as they are released from an institution and moves into their own apartment. Both have serious social problems, so their new life is gonna be quite a challenge. As the days goes by they meet a couple of other people witch brings Elling and Kjell Bjarnes relationship to several test.

Based on a book by Ingvar Ambjørnsen, Elling is a well written and very charming movie. The dialog is well written and perfectly delivered. It is a movie out of the ordinary and something for everyone to enjoy. No matter country or generation. The lovable characters of Elling and Kjell Bjarne is excellent portrayed by Per Christian Ellefsen and Sven Nordin. Peter Næss does a good job in the directors chair and Lars Lillo-Stenberg gives the movie a nice score. All together this make up a great, funny, charming and lovely movie. Elling is a comedy, yet it is also a drama. The characters and the actors who brings them to life is just hilarious, yet their social dysfunction is a rather serious problem and you kind of feel bad for them and wish them to get better. Elling might have the biggest problem as he have to deal with his jealousy when Kjell Bjarne meets someone else. The interaction between the characters and Elling jealousy is very well captured and that's partly what makes this a great movie.

If you ought to see one Norwegian movie Elling should be it! That way it will not be the last Norwegian movie you see.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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