A slightly disappointing documentary about...well, what? It's not really the LIFE of Levon, it just follows him around for a few days and allows him to hold forth about the music business and certain former associates. I know he was a cantankerous cuss, that's fine - I don't want saints, I want geniuses whose music can move me, and that's what Lee's always did, along with his Band-mates, including He Who Shall Not be Named.
There's some painful (in every sense), poignant footage of Lee having a camera put up his nose (and down his throat) which obviously causes him a lot of pain, but he bravely allows the footage to be shown. We also see him smoking a cigar, and laughingly bragging about his weed use - this from a man whose wonderful vocal chords were ravaged by cancer, and who was to lose his life to the disease. Everyone around him laughs at his every wisecrack, and his wife REALLY wants to go to the Grammys (Lee obstinately and foul-mouthedly refuses), but there are some fabulous moments too. All too brief clips of the Band playing, of Lee and his latter day band playing (full performances in the DVD extras would have been nice), the aforementioned medical procedures which show us Lee as a vulnerable, frightened old man - still with the time to sign an autograph (and write a message) for the son of a staff member at the medical centre, himself a drummer and fan of Lee's. There are some nice shots (perhaps a little contrived) of Lee working the land, sharing out the turkey and ham sandwiches.
I'd love to see a substantial, warts and all biopic of Levon Helm, but this isn't it. A good, well-intentioned attempt though.