Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

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Movie Info & Cast


Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is renowned filmmaker Nick Broomfield's most personal and romantic film of his storied career. The documentary starts on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960, where Leonard Cohen, then a struggling and unknown fiction writer, and Marianne Ihlen, a single mother with a young son, became part of community of expat artists, writers and musicians. Never-before-seen footage shot by Broomfield and legendary documentarian D.A. Pennebaker make for a unique portrait of an idyllic 1960's bohemia. It was a time that left a lasting imprint on both Marianne and Leonard, whose friendship would last another fifty years before their deaths in 2016.


  • Nick Broomfield
  • Nancy Bacal
  • Jeffrey Brown
  • Judy Collins
  • Ron Cornelius
  • Billy Donovan
  • Julie Felix
  • Helle Goldman
  • Aviva Layton
  • John Lissauer

Did You Know?


  • Nick Broomfield has a track record of inserting himself into his own documentaries. In this instance, it was particularly pertinent as Broomfield himself was an ex-lover of Marianne Ihlen.
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Atom User Reviews



Jul 11, 2019

Taking on the melancholy, rain-tapping-a-window tone of Leonard’s music, Broomfield doesn’t try to draw a line through the story artificially but embraces the natural disorder of real life.

Metacritic review by Hunter Lanier
Hunter Lanier
Film Threat
May 22, 2019

The doc swells with wonderful archival footage that immerses you in the hedonistic environment the principals occupied, but in ranging wide it somehow doesn’t go deep, or at least deep enough, into its twin protagonists to satisfy as the full story.

Metacritic review by Todd McCarthy
Todd McCarthy
The Hollywood Reporter
May 22, 2019

As befits its subjects, Marianne Leonard is as much poetry as documentary — it’s a gentle, rhapsodic film, an emotional change of pace for its director and a moving portrait of a love that still resonates.

Metacritic review by Steve Pond
Steve Pond