Neil Jordan always manages to make films that are edgy, pungent, and intensely accurate in defining the motivation of his characters ('The Crying Game', 'The Butcher Boy', 'The End of the Affair', etc) and in MICHAEL COLLINS Jordan has not only directed but also wrote a docudrama that stands with the finest. It is simply a major achievement in cinematic art.
The brief life of Michael Collins (he was killed when he was but 31 years of age) completely changed the history of Ireland and the British rule of that country. Collins introduced the democracy of the Irish Republic and ended a long era of fighting and rebellion. A man of passionate convictions and mesmerizing idealism and compassion, Collins' memory is still regarded by both the Irish and the British as a 20th century hero.
The brilliant script is placed in the exceptionally competent hands of Liam Neeson as Collins with top flight support from Stephan Rea, Aidan Quinn, Alan Rickman, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Charles Dance, and yes, even Julia Roberts! The fighting scenes are so well done they become artistic, due primarily to the constantly excellent cinematography by Chris Menges. Elliot Goldenthal's musical score (with some added moments by Sinéad O'Connor) not only enhances the film but stands alone as a fine orchestral work. Truly on of the best historic films ever released. Grady Harp, August 05
Michael Collins proves conclusive that that Liam Neeson can play almost any role and make it his own. Steven Rey also gives a first rate performance in his composite role of Ned Broy. Julia Roberts has taken some heat for her role but it was not, in my opinion central to the movie. Alan Rickman plays an unsympathetic Eamon de Valera (does he EVER get to play a sympathetic character?) in fact it's reaching the point were he plays almost every character as the a pseudo version … more
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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A heartfelt epic from Irish director Neal Jordan (The Crying Game,Interview with the Vampire),Michael Collinsis the biography of the charismatic and controversial Irish rebel leader who led the fight for independence from Britain. Among the most beautiful and atmospherically photographed movies of the '90s,Michael Collinsis also a rich and intelligent study of the nature of politics and leadership: the IRA spokesman, full of fiery convictions, eventually gives way to the more mature negotiator who strives to reach a compromise solution and is politically undone in the process. Liam Neeson gives a grand and towering performance as Collins, but for all the character's legendary, heroic, or otherwise larger-than-life attributes, Jordan and Neeson also keep him human. This is sweeping historical filmmaking of the kind we haven't seen since the heyday of David Lean, but with Jordan's characteristic touches of complexity and ambivalence.--Jim Emerson