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Anders Thomas Jensen
Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
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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In a world of big blockbuster movies, it is wonderful to know that there are still films like "Elling"--even if it is subtitled from Norwegian. The interactions between the characters throughout the film require superb acting and they get it. Elling and Kjell Bjarne who are mentally re-acclimating to society live together and play off of each other's quirks evoking comedy and sympathy in a fine balance. Kjell Bjarne, a large slob, and Elling, a fragile man suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder and removal anxiety from his mother, evoke laughter and sympathy. It is a pity that films like "Elling" are so rare compared to the huge-budget monstrosities we call entertainment. Films like "Elling" bring the art back into film-making.
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