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Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Canada · 2021
1h 55m
Director Dayna Goldfine, Daniel Geller
Starring Leonard Cohen, Larry Sloman, Adrienne Clarkson, Judy Collins
Genre Documentary

This documentary weaves together three creative strands: Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and his times; his signature song, "Hallelujah," and its dramatic journey from record label reject to chart-topping hit; and moving testimonies from other artists for whom “Hallelujah” has become a personal touchstone.

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What are critics saying?

58

IndieWire by

There are flashes of deep emotional resonance . . . But there’s also a huge amount of whiplash, as the wide-reaching documentary attempts to crystallize something as mercurial as this through performers, fans, lovers, haters, naysayers, believers.

67

The Playlist by Jason Bailey

Gellar and Goldfine manage the tone expertly, inserting little jolts of humor to keep things from getting too reverent.

80

TheWrap by Steve Pond

Does the film explain “Hallelujah?” Of course not – the song stubbornly resists explanation, because it’s so many different things and because there’s a beautiful mystery at its heart. Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song is smart enough to embrace that mystery and that beauty, and to know that there’s far more to Cohen than can be summed up in four, or seven, or even 150 verses.

60

Screen Daily by Wendy Ide

This is filmmaking which echoes Cohen’s music style – it’s contemplative, searching and stripped back, but it can also be somewhat navel gazing, ponderous and very slow.

60

The Guardian by Xan Brooks

Hallelujah is one for the fans, thorough and informative, like a set of cinematic liner notes, largely content to marvel at the majesty of its subject and the vibrant afterlife of his work.

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