Watch Elling

"They're packed and ready for the greatest adventure of their lives. All they have to do is get out of the house."
  • R
  • 2001
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 7.5  (15,715)
  • 70

Set in modern-day Oslo, "Elling" is a heartwarming comedy-drama that follows the lives of two unlikely roommates as they learn to overcome their respective mental illnesses and assimilate back into society. The film begins with the release of the titular character, Elling (Per Christian Ellefsen), from a psychiatric hospital. He is a socially awkward, germophobic, and agoraphobic man who has spent the majority of his life living with his mother. Accompanying him is his best friend Kjell Bjarne (Sven Nordin), a gentle giant who has spent most of his life working as a lumberjack in the Norwegian countryside.

The two men are placed in a small apartment by a social worker named Frank (Jørgen Langhelle), who informs them that they are expected to find jobs and live independently. Elling and Kjell Bjarne are initially overwhelmed by the responsibility placed upon them, and they struggle to adapt to their new surroundings. Elling spends much of his time obsessively cleaning the apartment and avoiding interaction with others, while Kjell Bjarne spends his days wandering the city and trying to find a job.

Despite their respective difficulties, Elling and Kjell Bjarne begin to form a close friendship, and they support each other through their struggles. Elling, in particular, finds solace in Kjell Bjarne's easygoing nature, and he gradually learns to let go of his fears and insecurities. Along the way, they encounter various characters who help them on their journey, including a bartender named Reidun (Marit Pia Jacobsen), who becomes a romantic interest for Kjell Bjarne.

The film is a touching exploration of the human condition, and it treats its characters with sensitivity and empathy. It deftly balances moments of comedy and drama, and it never feels contrived or manipulative. The performances are uniformly excellent, with Ellefsen and Nordin bringing warmth and depth to their portrayals of Elling and Kjell Bjarne. Jacobsen is also excellent as the spirited Reidun, who provides a necessary counterbalance to the stoicism of Elling and Kjell Bjarne.

One of the film's strengths is its depiction of mental illness. Rather than relying on clichés or stereotypes, the film presents its characters as complex individuals with unique personalities and circumstances. Elling's struggles with anxiety and social phobia are depicted with subtlety and nuance, and the film never resorts to over-dramatization or caricature. Kjell Bjarne's struggles with depression and isolation are also presented with sensitivity, and his eventual journey towards self-acceptance is deeply moving.

Overall, "Elling" is a charming and uplifting film that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. It is a rare gem that manages to be both funny and poignant, and it is a testament to the power of friendship and human connection. Whether you are looking for a heartwarming comedy or a thoughtful drama, "Elling" is a film that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Elling is a 2001 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 70.

Where to Watch Elling
Elling is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent Elling for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (15,715)
  • Metascore