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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Anders Thomas Jensen
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
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
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.
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.
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This is one of the most delightful films I've seen!
Few films warm my heart with the regularity of "Elling." (I make it a point to watch it about once a month.) Though the film lacks most of the ingredients for widespread commercial success (big stars, lots of sex, action, etc.) its appeal, to me, are its unremitting warmth and charm; and I was gratified to see "The Academy" (the Oscar folks) recognize its beauty, as well ("Elling" was a "Best Foreign Film" nominee.) You will not regret picking up "Elling." However, I heartily recommend the "subtitled" version; avoid the "dubs!" The subtlety, nuance, and beauty of the Norwegian language are one of the film's "uncredited characters." I recommend "Elling" without reservation.
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