Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

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Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love
Marianne & Leonard, Words of Love poster.jpeg
Directed byNick Broomfield
Produced byNick Broomfield
Kyle Gibbon
Shani Hinton
Marc Hoeferlin
Narrated byNick Broomfield
Music byNick Laird-Clowes
CinematographyBarney Broomfield
Edited byMarc Hoeferlin
Distributed byRoadside Attractions
Release date
  • 27 January 2019 (2019-01-27) (Sundance)
  • 5 July 2019 (2019-07-05)
Running time
102 minutes
CountriesUnited States
Box office$1,401,207[1][2]

Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is a 2019 documentary film directed by Nick Broomfield, about the relationship between writer and singer Leonard Cohen and his "muse" Marianne Ihlen, in particular their time spent on the Greek island of Hydra in the 1960s and 1970s.[3] She was the inspiration behind "So Long, Marianne", "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" and "Bird on the Wire."


The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reaction is generally positive. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 80% based on reviews from 103 critics.[4] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 69 based on reviews from 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[5]

The Guardian gave it 4 stars out of 5, calling it a "tender, vivid snapshot of a singer and his 'muse'."[6] The Irish Independent gave it 4 stars as well, saying "Broomfield’s film has an unhurried, digressive style that seems oddly appropriate to its dreamy, quasi-mythical story. But he sentimentalises neither Leonard nor Susanne, and makes it clear that there was a downside to Hydra’s carefree hedonism."[7] awarded it 2½ stars out of 4, and said "The strongest aspect of "Marianne and Leonard" has nothing to do with Ihlen or Cohen, but is the vivid picture painted of the 1960s counterculture, particularly its manifestation on Hydra."[8]

The New Statesman said that the film "romanticises a sexist trope" and that Broomfield "falls into the same trap as Cohen, rendering Ihlen into nothing more than the play-thing of a male artist."[9] Empire Online awarded it 2 out of 5, saying "Words Of Love claims to honour a love story between a man and a woman, one that transcends creative differences and the weariness of time. But through scattershot interviews with friends and collaborators, it feels more like a half-hearted biopic about Cohen throughout his tumultuous career – with a bit of intimate gossip intercut here and there."[10]


  1. ^ "Marianne & Leonard: Words Of Love (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  2. ^ "Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019)". The Numbers. IMDb. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
  4. ^ "Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  5. ^ "Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love". Metacritic.
  6. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (July 25, 2019). "Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love review – tender, vivid snapshot of a singer and his 'muse'". The Guardian – via
  7. ^ "Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love review - Nick Broomfield's fine film charts a Greek island romance that would mark the singer for life".
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Marianne and Leonard: Words of Love romanticises a sexist trope".
  10. ^ Ella Kemp (July 22, 2019). "Marianne & Leonard: Words Of Love". Empire (magazine).

External links[edit]