And the Oscar Goes To… Not a Clue

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Review: The Independents

There are no big stars in this musical dramedy. It’s a total indie flick. And it’s a lot of fun. It tells the tale of three singer/songwriters all struggling to find a way forward, who bump into one another by chance and team up for one last stab at making it in the music world. It’s no A Star is Born take though. It’s a heart-felt buddy movie with some fine three part harmonies and well-drawn characters.

Review: Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Oh, to be a great man’s muse! To have him write poetry and songs about you, to you, for you. And all you need do is sit at his feet and adore him while he creates! This is the story of Marianne and Leonard. Marianne Ihlen was a Norwegian single mom living on the Greek island of Hydra in the 1960s, when Leonard Cohen came into her life. It was a love that would last both their lifetimes and would be responsible for many of his most memorable songs. Sadly though, what this documentary fails to tell us is who Marianne was. Her presence is only a means by which to tell the story of Cohen and his rise from writer/poet on a Greek isle to global folk music star. And while I did learn a few things about Leonard, the long stretches of the film with Marianne sitting on a boat or with people talking about her were actually boring. And at the end, you’re left with nothing of her to hang onto.

Song One

Song One feels like one of those low-budget indie flicks that a bunch of college friends got together to shoot in the middle of the night, with the theater class’s star pupil lending her talents to the endeavor. The narrative is (more than) a bit contrived, but you can’t help but root for the film and its characters. Song One is a romantic drama set against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s indie music scene, so it’s sort of like a less gritty, more contemporary Inside Llewyn Davis with a chick-flickier edge.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis is one of those indie films that you either love – or don’t. I wanted to. But I didn’t. Fans of folk music and the Coen Brothers will surely appreciate the film’s soundtrack and gritty portrayal of a week in the life of a young folk singer in Greenwich Village in 1961. But others may find it kind of slow and depressing.