This film is part concert tribute, part documentary tribute to Leonard Cohen. What is undeinable about it is director Lian Lunson's enthusiasm for her subject: the word and music of Leonard Cohen, and the man himself. The words and music are given admirable voice by various performers: Teddy Thompson, the Wainwrights, Perla Batalla, Beth Orton to name but a few. Each performer brings gives their own take on the song in question (you'll either like it or not, but the same could be said about any Leonard Cohen cover version). What Lunson does very well is give a flavour of Leonard Cohen the man. Here, the documentary does not seek to be comprehensive or didactic: it merely reflects the various facets of Leonard Cohen. Indeed, this is the film's strength: Lunson seems to have take her cue from Leonard Cohen himself, and has not tried to 'pigeon hole' him into this or that category.
The result is a more fluid film, which captures the mecurial nature of the Leonard Cohen. If it seems like at the end, there are still loose ends to tie up, that's because there are, because - thankfully - Leonard Cohen is still giving us great poetry and songs. SOme other reviewers have taken issue with the contributions of U2 and others. I think their contributions are fine, and what is undeniable about them, particularly Bono, is their enhtusiasm for Leonard Cohen and his songs. It's refreshing to see Bono be humbled (as he himself admits he is) by Leonard Cohen. It's great to hear the likes of Edge admit that U2 owes a debt of gratitude to Cohen, without whom, it seems, there would have been no U2. And that's where this film succeeds in pointing out that a lot of the bands beloved of younf people today were initially inspired by this poet from Montreal.
As for the DVD, there is a good director's commentary (from a quirkily cute Lian Lunson), a trailer, and Teddy Thompson rehearsing "Tonight will be fine" in black and white. For those new to Leonard Cohen, this is a great initiation. For those who know his work, this will be a refreshing look at that work, and will give an abiding flavour of one of the most important voices (musically and poetically) of the 20th Century.