Leonard Cohen resurrects at Séries Mania with So Long, Marianne

Leonard Cohen resurrects at Séries Mania with So Long, Marianne

In international competition, this biopic series focuses on the love story between Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, which lasted throughout the 60s. The result is more than charming.

So long, Marianne opens with the sound of a screaming crowd. The photographers' flashes are crackling, Leonard Cohen is in the back of a car, groupies are gathering all around. We're probably in New York at the end of the 60's and Hallelujah resonates. Cohen says: “ I know you've heard this song before. I wrote it. I just wanted to have your attention. » Furtive glance at the camera. The series knows this perfectly: for the general public, Leonard Cohen is above all this hit of timeless beauty. But it turns out that we are here for something else, namely to examine the intimacy of the singer and one of the great loves of his life, Marianne Ihlen. A decade, or almost, spent between New York, Montreal and the island of Hydra, where they met.

Nice angle for a biopic, which therefore intends to tell both this love story and get into the heads of its two protagonists. At another time, less focused on the small screen, So Long, Marianne would have been a beautiful two and a half hour film. Not so bad: Norwegian writer-director Øystein Karlsen uses the extra time at his disposal to chronicle Cohen's narrow early life (actor Alex Wolff, astonishing in the way he captures his energy and voice without ever imitate), before his big departure towards a bigger world that is just waiting for him. Opposite, a very beautiful casting (Anna Torv, Noah Taylor), where the Norwegian Thea Sofie Loch Naess (what a name!) shines, who offers a Marianne in search of herself her face between Margot Robbie and Daisy Ridley.

Sophisticated charm

Visually, with the exception of a few passages in black and white, everything is a bit clean and expected in this prestige production, which nevertheless has the great intelligence of never distancing itself from its central subject. The couple, not yet formed at the end of episode 2 (we did not have access to the other six), is already the star of the series, even if they share the screen very little at this time of the plot. There is a real charm in the never posed sophistication of the project, an indefinable little extra that plays out in the silences and the editing. While waiting to verify that the sequel is of the same barrel, fans of Leonard Cohen can throw themselves with their eyes closed on So long, Marianne. And others would be well advised to do the same.

So long, Marianne, two episodes to watch over 48 hours on the Séries Mania website. For the moment, the series does not have a French broadcaster.

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