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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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 ...
Servitør på 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 »


[Elling is about to order two train tickets to Oslo]
Train ticket salesman: Yes?
Elling: Yes!
Train ticket salesman: You're going to?
Elling: Yes, we! Kjell Bjarne and I are going to Oslo of course.
Train ticket salesman: One way?
Elling: There are more ways?
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

Impressive stuff about madness many of us are familiar with..
8 June 2002 | by (Stavanger, Norway) – See all my reviews

When I first saw this movie, I did not like it to much. That's because I had read all 4 books about the main character and somehow felt connected to him. 2nd time I saw this movie I changed my opinion. This movie is really good. Characters you have to love, struggling with all the inner demons most of us, at one time or another, are slightly familiar with. Elling & Kjell Bjarne are 2 people outside the world most of us live in, and they are struggling to get inside. And what a joyful struggle. I cheer the main characters, director, photo & music. Some flaws are present, but they are not big enough to ruin this movie. You should see it. The casting is so good that I have to question the fact that Hollywood are planning on making an american (sigh!) version. They can't do it, I know that for a fact already. These actors in the original movie ARE the characters. Impressive stuff.

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