Movie Review by Alice Castle
Starring: Leonard Cohen, Bono, Edge, Larry Mullen Jr, Adam Clayton
Director: Lian Lunson
Leonard Cohen fans who haven’t seen this film yet will be there in droves of course, but even for the Cohen-averse this is a great rockumentary, without the rock. For those of us who condemned Leonard Cohen as a miserable, self-indulgent, pseudo-poet making – period pain music – it will make you think gain. It’s great to see that Cohen has a wry sense of humour; his message seeming to be that when you face the abyss and look over the edge – you have to see the funny side of it all.
There are great performances of Cohen’s songs from Rufus and Martha Wainwright (‘Everybody Knows’, ‘The Traitor’, ‘Chelsea Hotel #2’), Nick Cave (‘I’m Your Man’), Antony (‘If It Be Your Will’), Teddy Thompson (‘Tonight Will Be Fine’) and Jarvis Cocker (‘I Can’t Remember’) amongst others – and superlative testimonials from U2’s Bono and The Edge who seemed to think the man is the greatest song-writer alive. To Bono, Leonard Cohen’s writing is Keats and Shelley, tactile and sensual, brightly coloured. ‘He has you at all stages in life’ from youthful idealism to cynic to wise old man.
The clips of the interview with Cohen himself try to dispel the enigma – he became a Buddhist monk, but gave up. He was a snappy dresser because he only felt comfortable in suits. He has found life easier since he realised he no longer expects to win. ‘I never found the girl, I never got rich’. A lesson for us all.