Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

    Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love


    A story of enduring love between Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse, Marianne Ihlen. The film follows their relationship from their early days in Greece, a time of "free love" and open marriage, to how their love evolved when Leonard became a successful musician.

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      • Leonard CohenSelf (archive footage)
      • Marianne IhlenSelf (archive footage)
      • Judy CollinsSelf


      • 83


        As befits its subjects, Marianne & Leonard is as much poetry as documentary — it’s a gentle, rhapsodic film, an emotional change of pace for its director and a moving portrait of a love that still resonates.
      • 80

        New York Magazine (Vulture)

        My ideal Leonard Cohen documentary would contain another hour’s worth of concert footage and be screened outdoors on the island of Hydra. Otherwise, this is as full a filmed portrait of the man and his muse as you could ever hope to see.
      • 75

        Washington Post

        Dutifully covering the rise, fall and final triumph of Cohen’s career, Broomfield relegates Ihlen to the background of her own story, before bringing her back for the film’s touching final act and devastating epilogue. Achieving the kind of balance to which Cohen always aspired, Marianne & Leonard is heartbreaking and heartening in Zen-like equal measure.
      • 70


        It’s an entertaining flashback to an always-diverting countercultural epoch, with a touching footnote of a semi-famous love story at its center.
      • 70

        Los Angeles Times

        Because Ihlen was never the public figure that the often idolized Cohen was, “Words of Love” eventually becomes as much a documentary on him as a record of a relationship. But that relationship does have pride of place, and as described by the participants in vintage audio and by people who knew him in contemporary interviews, it does fascinate.
      • 70

        Rolling Stone

        What makes this film unmissable, however, is the fact that we get Marianne’s story more or less in full as well. It’s a fleshing out of someone who was more than just a muse, more than just an object of affection for a notorious ladies’ man, a famous singer and an infamous bastard.
      • 63

        Marianne and Leonard turns out to be a rather run-of-the-mill documentary about Cohen's journey, taking us down well-documented paths.
      • 60

        The Hollywood Reporter

        The doc swells with wonderful archival footage that immerses you in the hedonistic environment the principals occupied, but in ranging wide it somehow doesn’t go deep, or at least deep enough, into its twin protagonists to satisfy as the full story.

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