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Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019)

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An in-depth look at the relationship between the late musician Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen.


Nick Broomfield



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Credited cast:
Leonard Cohen ... Himself (archive footage)
Judy Collins ... Herself
Ron Cornelius Ron Cornelius ... Himself
Helle Goldman Helle Goldman ... Herself
Marianne Ihlen Marianne Ihlen ... Herself (archive footage)
Aviva Layton Aviva Layton ... Herself
Irving Layton Irving Layton ... Himself (archive footage)
John Lissauer ... Himself
Don Lowe Don Lowe ... Himself
John Simon John Simon ... Himself
Richard Vick Richard Vick ... Himself
Jennifer Warnes Jennifer Warnes ... Herself (archive footage)


An in-depth look at the relationship between the late musician Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some drug material, sexual references and brief nudity | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site




English | Norwegian

Release Date:

5 July 2019 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Hydra, Greece See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$44,942, 7 July 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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User Reviews

So long, Marianne (& Leonard)
27 July 2019 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love" (2019 release; 102 min.) is a documentary about the (in)famous relationship between singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen. As the movie opens, we are "July 28, 2016" and the BBC informs us that Marianne has passed away. We then go to the "1970 Isle of Wright" festival, where Cohen asks the massive crowd "Marianne, are you there? Where are you, Marianne?" We then go to the early 60s in Hydra, Greece, where Marianne was living and Leonard, a struggling writer, has just arrived, and they meet by chance.... At this point we are 10 min. into the documentary.

Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from director Nick Broomfield, best known for his "Kurt & Courtney" documentary in the late 90s. Here he delves into the long relationship between Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, who became Leonard's lover and muse. As a life-long fan of Leonard Cohen, I knew of Marianne vaguely (of course through the song "So Long, Marianne") and knew of their relationship but really nothing more than that. So this documentary was quite revealing in many ways. I was amazed at all of the archive footage that was unearthed from the 60s and 70s that paint such a vivid picture of that era (including footage from Broomfield himself and from D.A. Pennebaker, among others). We hear from Marianne (mostly through Norwegian interviews) and Leonard themselves extensively, but others comment as well (check out Judy Collins and, even better, the extensive comments from Ron Cornelius, Cohen's band mate who sounds remarkably like Bill Clinton). Please note: this is NOT a bio-documentary of Leonard Cohen. Hence, while there are some music and performance clips, they are clearly secondary only. The focus of the film is the long and complicated relationship/friendship between Marianne and Leonard. The last 10 min. of the film are a true emotional gut punch (as we know all along that these two passed away just months apart in 2016).

"Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love" opened out of the blue this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati, and I immediately just had to go see it. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at was not attended well (exactly 5 people in total). I have no idea how an "average" viewer might watch this documentary, but as a life-long fan of Cohen, I thought this documentary was just lovely from start to finish. (I saw Cohen in concert only 1 time, at the 2009 Coachella music fest, and what an unforgettable set that was.) If you are a Leonard Cohen fan and always have been curious about that mysterious Marianne from "So Lone, Marianne", I'd readily suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.

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