"If it weren't acted with such naturalistic precision, Petter Naess's small, good-natured film would be an indigestibly sugary slice of inspirational pie in the sky...Not a word of clinical jargon is heard ...The absence of terms like bipolar, schizophrenic, borderline and paranoid, not to mention the whole galaxy of garden-variety neuroses with fancy labels, proves refreshing...'Elling' believes so fervently in humanity that it feels almost anachronistic, and it is too cute by half. But arriving at a particularly dark moment in history, it offers flickering reminders of the ties that bind us." -Stephen Holden, The New York Times

" may feel irritated and manipulated by the pinch-voiced title character as he discovers the latent poet in his soul...'Elling' is a mushy, smushy ode to friendship...In the effort to be heartwarming and universal, it abandons any attempt at a clinical explanation of its characters' neuroses." -Jan Stuart, Newsday

"...spare, funny, captivating...Ellefsen and Nordin are absolutely perfect together...There is a little of all of us in their awkwardness, fears and neuroses, and we root for their success in the mundane as if they were ascending Everest....An Oscar also-ran this year for best foreign-language film, 'Elling' is still in the running for 2002's most uplifting movie." -Jack Mathews, The New York Daily News

"... another movie striving to locate amusement and sentimental solace in the shenanigans of the mentally disabled... That neither protagonist has a distinguishable condition hardly matters because both are just actory concoctions, defined by childlike dimness and a handful of quirks...'Elling' is nothing if not carefully controlled hokum..." -Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice