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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,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's affectionate and optimistic without being fuzzy."
‑ Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News
"Touches smartly and wistfully on a number of themes, not least the notion that the marginal members of society ... might benefit from a helping hand and a friendly kick in the pants."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"really is about a couple of crazy guys, and it's therapeutic"
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"The pleasing acting jobs by the two protagonists makes all this sugar easier to swallow, but not enough to find this film anything more than a mere diversion."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A sweet film about two gentle souls - there is a genuine caring between them that feels like watching old friends."
‑ Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone, TheMovieChicks.com
"A charming but slight comedy."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"It is refreshingly undogmatic about its characters."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A pleasant surprise."
‑ Jurgen Fauth, About.com
"By maintaining a modest stance and a gentle, affectionate tone it emerges as winning rather than wearying."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"immanently worthy of its Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"Elling, portrayed with quiet fastidiousness by Per Christian Ellefsen, is a truly singular character, one whose frailties are only slightly magnified versions of the ones that vex nearly everyone."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"A witty and sophisticated sensibility brings individuality to the classic odd-couple comedy."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Just because the characters are crazy, that doesn't mean they are not smart."
‑ Ian Waldron-Mantgani, UK Critic
"Tedious Norwegian offering which somehow snagged an Oscar nomination."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"It is a life-affirming tale devoid of sappiness or pretention."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
More reviews for Elling on Rotten Tomatoes