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 of Alan Rickman.
The picture itself is epic and beautiful it seems to emphasize the dark, this is very proper since it is a dark tale of a tough time of struggle violence and murder.
The tone and the color of the movie subtlety changes when it seems peace has come but starts to change back as the Irish civil war breaks out and it reverts back to the same tough time of violence and murder but directed even more by the Irish against the Irish.
The story here is more Collins than Ireland's so he is the protagonist and is made so. One can debate how much history there is in it but to critique it for being so is not really proper.
It is certainly a fine picture and worth your time.
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 … more
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