Reportedly the most popular Norwegian film in the last 25 years, Elling proves itself as eminently worthy of its Best Foreign Film Oscar nomination. This hilarious tale about two neurotics just-outta-the-asylum and living together would get Adam Sandler-style slapstick treatment here in America. (Sadly, the Odd Couple and Cuckoo's Nest days seem to be long lost to U.S. filmmakers.)

But in director Petter Næss's hands, our heroes Elling (Per Christian Ellefsen) and Kjell Bjarne (Sven Nordin) become a latter-day Oscar and Felix. Or perhaps a latter day Felix and Felix -- both are so messed up it's a miracle they can work the telephone. Then again, this is the first major neurosis we encounter in Elling: He's afraid to speak on the phone at all. As the film progresses, we learn more and more about Elling's sheltered freakiness and Kjell Bjarne's sullen desire to fit in and "get some." Eventually Elling decides he's destined to be a poet and takes to secreting anonymous verses inside boxes of sauerkraut at the local market. Kjell Bjarne, meanwhile, takes up with a pregnant woman living in the building.

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