If you can't think of a crisis in your life that's tied to a Leonard Cohen song, then Canadian director Lian Lunson's velvety, exuberantly hagiographic film of a 2005 Sydney tribute concert to the Prince of Pain may not be the movie for you. If you can, the experience will be weepy bliss. The concert shows off Cohen's unifying influence on an astonishingly diverse range of musicians. He sings "Tower of Song" at the end, flanked by U2, but his life flashes by us, intercut with the musical numbers, in grainy footage and wry commentary by the man himself. A total babe in his salad days (if that's the right expression for a man plagued all his life by depression), at 71 Cohen looks like any one of my heavy-lidded Jewish uncles, only with better suits. He may be as obsessive a reviser of his own history as he is of his songs and poems, but his way with words is so sublime, so gently precise and musical, you'd be a churl to quibble.
Lian LunsonBeth Orton, Bono, Nick Cave, Julie Christensen, Adam Clayton, Jarvis Cocker, Leonard Cohen, Anna McGarrigle, Kate McGarrigle, Larry Mullen Jr.Mel Gibson, Lian LunsonLionsgate