I watched this "documentary" without any preconceived ideas about Cobain and Nirvana. I know their music and about Cobain's death, but I followed their story from a distance.
The documentary is unsatisfactory, mostly because of the uneven pace, the length and the feeling that the people involved just tried to justify themselves.
The story stars slow, with some sweet (and heartbreaking) footage of baby Kurt, interspersed with interviews with his mother, father and stepmother. I knew little about Cobain's life, but I had the impression the three of them tried to justify their actions even before they mentioned that in his teenage years Kurt was shipped back and forward in his family circle, because he was "difficult". His dad and stepmother looked weird, while his mother looked like an older version of Courtney Love (not a compliment).
The story includes animated parts of Kurt's journals, photos, artwork, home movies and even some animated "reconstruction" of moments in Kurt's life.The technique is interesting, but there is way too much of it, especially the animated journal, showing the handwritten words forming very quickly. It is a non-stop struggle trying to read the text. Also, most of Cobain's artwork is quite violent and depressing.
When it reaches the point of Cobain living with girlfriend Tracy and then forming Nirvana, the pace of the story changes. Enter Courtney Love and the rest is basically about her.
We're shown plenty of home movies, with the allegedly happy couple in various stages of undress, looking filthy and living in squalor. Then more footage with baby Frances, in the same settings and nudity, with an increasingly emaciated Cobain and Love showing her tits. As mentioned by another reviewer, that was totally irrelevant, since I wanted to know Cobain's story and cared nothing about Love's tits.
With the hijack of Courtney Love, the story takes a turn for the worse and seems to drag on forever. Love also does a lot of justifying, especially about the notorious Vanity Fair interview. She admits to using heroin while pregnant, as if it is perfectly normal. Dave Grohl is not interviewed, while Novoselic gives a couple of anodyne statements. The end is quite abrupt and leaves out the final weeks. I guess a touchy topic for the widow
Whatever happened, Cobain seemed sensitive, artistic and fragile man, certainly not a happy guy. He had the misfortune of growing up in a chaotic family and falling for the wrong woman. Some say that life is the narrative we tell ourselves about the events that happened to us. Unfortunately Cobain told himself a sad, violent and ultimately tragic story.