Someone You Love [En du elsker]: Danish Film Invokes Sense & Sound Of Leonard Cohen

Someone You Love [En du elsker], a 2014 film rendered in English and Danish with English subtitles, features a soundtrack, story, and character that bring to mind Leonard Cohen. The following excerpt from Someone You Love (En du elsker): Berlin Review by Jordan Mintzer (Hollywood Reporter: 2/11/2014) outlines the situation:

The shadow of Leonard Cohen looms large over Someone You Love (En du elsker), an endearing if somewhat conventional family drama from Danish writer-director Pernille Fischer Christensen (whose 2005 debut, A Soap, nabbed Berlin’s Silver Bear prize).

Featuring The Hobbit’s Mikael Persbrandt as an aging, very Cohen-like musician whose swooning guttural ballads cannot compensate for his lack of real affection, and promising newcomer Sofus Ronnov as the grandson who may finally change the rocker’s ways, this well-acted if predictable story should see theatrical engagements in Scandinavia and parts of Europe, with offshore VOD play and additional fest bids following a world premiere in the Berlinale Special Gala.

With his black coat and hat, slicked gray hair and gravelly performances backed by a chorus of female singers, 60-something Thomas Jacob (Persbrandt) is pretty much a dead-ringer for the Canadian singer-songwriter, save for the fact that he’s a Dane who’s been living in L.A. for decades and is finally returning back to his homeland.

Similar observations have been made by others; a few examples follow:

Someone You Love By Fionnuala Halligan (ScreenDaily: Feb 11, 2014)

Persbrandt’s character Thomas Jacob sings in English like an unhappy Leonard Cohen with a penchant for awkward lyrics including: “Whatever happened to the whispers?”

Someone You Love – 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival (Filmguide LA Filmfest: 2014)

After many years living in L.A., a world-famous, hard-living Danish singer-songwriter (think a Nordic Leonard Cohen) returns to his homeland to record an new album.

En du elsker by Lee Marshall (Filmmagasinet Ekko: April 23, 2014) [via Google Translate]:

The film is moving, but also more than a little conventional during the winter cold surface, especially in the drawing of Thomas’ persona (his voice, appearance and rock look is perhaps too strongly inspired by Leonard Cohen).

The following two songs from the movie’s soundtrack are clear parallels with Leonard Cohen’s own songs and style:

Mikael Persbrandt – Someone You Love

Mikael Persbrandt – Now I Ask You

Credit Due Department: Dominique BOILE alerted me to this Cohenesque film. It was Dominique’s wife Annie, who first made him aware of the movie. Thanks are due both.

Someone You Love
En Du Elsker
(Denmark, 2014, 100 mins, DCP)
In English and Danish with English subtitles

Directed By: Pernille Fischer Christensen
Screenwriters: Kim Fupz Aakeson, Pernille Fischer Christensen
Producers: Vinca Wiedemann, Sisse Graum Jørgensen
Cinematographer: Laust Trier Mørk
Editors: Anne Østerud, Janus Billeskov Jansen
Music: Tina Dickow
Cast: Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Sofus Rønnov, Eve Best

Note: Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

3 Replies to “Someone You Love [En du elsker]: Danish Film Invokes Sense & Sound Of Leonard Cohen”

  1. Violeta

    L.Cohen was a person who had solved predicaments in a reasonable time and never waited to bring them to the Altar.Time can be destructive if not able to manage it and the evidence it’s his last album:You want it Darker,we kill the flame…..

  2. Violeta

    And who it’s intended to follow him should be enough agile to understand his spirit.Anyway an interesting voice and a movie given be the danish singer.Thanks Allan!