Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2005) - Documentary, Biography, Music

Hohum Score

53

Bearable

A documentary on the legendary singer-songwriter, with performances by those musicians he has influenced.

IMDB: 6.8
Director: Lian Lunson
Stars: Leonard Cohen, Bono
Length: 105 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 11 out of 40 found boring (27.5%)

One-line Reviews (37)

(One exception is his recounting of his reaction toward losing his father -- a striking story that was unexpected and telling.

"Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man" is an entertaining and informative tribute to the iconic singer-songwriter/poet.

It was a great hybrid, fascinating snippets and tidbits.

In that sense I thought that this oft emotionally evocative documentary managed to be as funny and light as it was serious and dramatic.

you will find it enlightening and enjoyable.

Fortunately, but only at the very end, Cohen himself performed his majestic "Tower of Song," but even that flower was spoiled by the totally incongruous background of the U2, all of them carrying the expression that bored kids have when they visit their poor grandpa at the nursing home.

There is some interesting information about Cohen, from the man himself, but it is too restricted and disjointed.

As for the Cohen interviews, they are interesting, but presented in a disjointed manner that allows little more than a general picture of the man to emerge.

There is an annoying repetitive device of blurring with fades in and fades out, and theatrical focus on a back stage scrim of beads, accompanied by odd theremin-like sounds.

Canadians Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Martha Wainwright and English born Jarvis Cocker give equally evocative performances to their allotted (?

Many of the performances are forgettable over-interpretations (especially Rufus & Martha Wainright's) or bland under-achievements.

Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man is an entertaining tribute documentary that took place in January 2006 at the Sydney Opera House.

The rest was a highbrow bore.

Canadians Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Martha Wainwright and English born Jarvis Cocker give equally evocative performances to their allotted (?

I will give props to Rufus Wainwright and Jarvis Cocker for their covers of Cohen tunes - the rest of the performances were a bore and some were unbearable.

If you ever decided to waste your money on this film, DON'T!

Personally, their praise was redundant and finally uninteresting.

Moreover, seeing Leonard with U2 was fun and unexpected.

Leonard is always engaging, and one stays with this messy and overlong piece of amateurism.

It is worth watching, though there are a thousand different versions of the concert and film that Might Have Been, all of them holding out more promise than this one realized.

Austin Movie Show review -- "highbrow bore" .

The format was also predictable for true fans of Leonard.

But in this case, Cohen's reminiscences and reflections are sufficiently intriguing and deeply soulful that the Cohen interview segments nicely complement the songs.

This documentary has a lot of the former, but this tendency towards veneration is balanced by the fact that many of the renditions of Cohen's songs are really good, if predictable.

His voice is so compelling and soul-stirring.

I wanted to like this one, Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man, more than I did; the film felt to be a disjointed mix of performances by a wide range of musicians doing Cohen covers and some interviews with Leonard in which we hear a bit about Suzanne, the Chelsea Hotel, his time as a monk, (I found that part quite interesting), etc. The camera angle seemed oddly fixated on his nose.

In short, he's fascinating, and this film is as much about the art of composing as it is about the songs themselves.

Here, all the tracks are covers put on by uninteresting characters, and these renditions fail to capture Cohen's slow, jazzy style.

Martha and Rufus Wainwright's performances were equally stunning.

You really should be in a melancholy mood to watch this, if you're in action film mode you will fast be bored.

Sometimes songs are inexplicably interrupted by some kind of often banal comment by Cohen himself, such as "The Wainwrights are doing a terrific job of reinventing my songs" (or something like that).

I thought that hearing about his life through his words and commentary was totally absorbing and I enjoyed every minute of it.

It is frustrating that an interesting observation by Cohen isn't explored further, or that a riveting performance of one of his songs is followed by Bono offering his arid thoughts.

But as it turns out Cave's performance is only the start of lengthy super boring performances by literally a bunch of no ones who don't even have a minimal attraction to keep you on your seat.

Annoying little pseudo-avant-garde gestures are sprinkled throughout the film- like out of focus superimpositions of red spheres over many of the concert and interview shots, shaky blurred camera work, use of digital delay on some of Leonard Cohen's comments (making it harder to hear what's being said) and a spooky, pretentious low drone under a lot of the interview segments (an attempt at added gravitas?

I would only recommend this film to someone who knows music and can appreciate just how much work Leonard puts into his songs; otherwise, you'll be yawning an hour in.

After listening to so many of his essential works in this film, you'll immediately want to hear the 'man' himself so be prepared (re: bring credit card) to leave the theater and hit the nearest record store for your post-docu 'fix' (re: stock up on Cohen's catalog or the dbl-CD that spans his entire career).