'Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man' is a hagiographical documentary about the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter, interspersed with performances of his songs from the musicians he has influenced. While the film will be loved by his fans, it won't change the minds of any of his detractors. But, then again, it wasn't made for their entertainment.
Filmed around 2005 Sydney tribute concert 'Came So Far For Beauty' - the Dublin leg of its tour took place earlier this month in Dublin's Point - the live performances sometimes struggle to sit comfortably with the biographical elements. But the concert clips are easily worth the price of admission alone. Rufus Wainwright camps it up to the best of his exceptional ability on 'Everybody Knows', 'Chelsea Hotel #2' and, especially, 'Hallelujah'; Antony of Antony and the Johnsons gives a show-stealing rendition of 'If It Be Your Will'; there's an achingly gorgeous rendition of 'Sisters of Mercy' from Beth Orton; and backing singers Julie Christensen and Perla Batalla - former Cohen band alumni - move centre-stage to duet on 'Anthem'.
There's easily enough material in Cohen's life to fill an entire biographical film and his recollections, of life as "a labourer called a writer", are warm and amusing. He also performs the final song, a curiously muted version of 'Tower of Song', with U2 as his backing band. It's an anti-climatic ending after the highs of earlier live performances from other artists. If you didn't manage to get your hands on a ticket for the live concert, you can enjoy front row seats with 'Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man'.