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Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Rated Parental Guidance

(Coarse Language, Nudity) 102 minutes

Dir: Nick Broomfield, US, 2019
Marianne Ihlen, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins

In English and some Norwegian with English subtitles

“Nick Broomfield’s haunting documentary is a lovely illustration of the twists and turns of a complicated relationship. Leonard Cohen was a poet and novelist, and Marianne Ihlen was a young Norwegian mother with a rocky marriage, when they met in the early ’60s on the Greek isle of Hydra. He thought she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen; they fell in love and she became the muse who inspired songs like ‘So Long, Marianne’ and ‘Bird On The Wire’. Those songs didn’t come until later, when the serious, melancholy poet had morphed into a singer-songwriter with a gift for mysterious, vividly evocative language. Their relationship fractured and they lived apart more than together. But the bond between Leonard and Marianne remained deep and abiding, even after she moved back to Oslo and got married... Broomfield calls the film ‘my first love story’. But it is a love story that resists conventional structure, elusive and elliptical, slipping back and forth in time. As much poetry as documentary, Marianne & Leonard is a gentle rhapsodic film, and a moving portrait of a love that resonates still.” – Steve Pond, The Wrap