Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Elling (2001)

Second time around, the delightful Elling holds up.

After two plus years in the nuthouse in Norway, Kjell (Sven Nordin) and Elling (Per Christian Ellefsen) are ready to start over on their own in an apartment in Oslo. Elling, having been sheltered for most of his adult life by his mother in their messy house (reminiscent of Hoarders), is scared but does all he can to avoid admitting it. Kjell is an oversized moose of a man hyper-interested in sex (he’s still a virgin) and food. Their social worker, Frank (Jørgen Langhelle), loads them up with aBaby steps large helping of tough love, instructing them to become familiar with living, that that’s what they must do. Elling isn’t convinced. After Frank leaves, they move the second bedroom bed into the first bedroom, separated by a night table. Now, they are roommates again, just like in the institution. When Kjell attracts the attention of the kooky pregnant neighbor, Elling is fearful. He’s going to have to break out on his own. Soon, he discovers his calling in poetry.

This excellent movie is simple and gets to the heart of what’s important in life. While we fuss and sweat most things, there are folks truly struggling and battling their demons. Kjell and Elling are never very far from theirs and to watch them make their way in this new world and overcome life’s obstacles and their insecurities is a good kick in the pants to get up, get lost and forge your way again.

Director: Petter Næss

Country: Norway

Genre: Dram-Com

Run time: 89 minutes

Scale: 4

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