The true story of Michael Collins, who led the Irish Republican Army
against England and negotiated the creation of the Irish Free State.
Michael Collins (1996)
Written and Directed by Neil Jordan
Starring Liam Neeson, Aidan Quinn, Julia Roberts,
Alan Rickman, Ian Hart, Stephen Rea, Jer O'Leary,
Mike Dwyer, Brendan Gleeson, Charles Dance
Oscar Nominations - Best Cinematography,
Best Original Score (Elliot Goldenthal)
A film like Michael Collins helps you realize that there are people throughout history who have a call to answer, be it for good or for evil. In the early 20th century, one such man was Irish leader Michael Collins, who refused to let the national dream of an Ireland free from British tyranny die. Collins did the impossible and negotiated the creation of the Irish Free State, which he viewed as a national victory. Unfortunately, many of his compatriots felt differently and started a civil war that is still going on today. This film shows everything that Collins did to secure his nation's future for the people and how Ireland would not be what is today if not for him.
Liam Neeson delivers one of the finest performances of his career as Michael Collins. He showcases the man's firm resolve and righteous patriotism, as well as his weaknesses and (at times) lack of confidence. Neeson was definitely the right person to play such a powerful historical figure. The supporting cast is great too, with Aidan Quinn and Julia Roberts doing a passable job with their Irish accents. It was interesting to see just how the I.R.A. began and what it initially stood for before the Irish Civil War. This film does a fantastic job of showing the history of Ireland's most troubled days.
Michael Collins may not have been immortalized as a timeless classic, but it deserves more attention because of its detailed look at the beginning of Ireland's wars for independence. Collins did the best he could for the country he loved. He may have paid for it with his life, but his sacrifice led to a strong country that will never led it be in vain. As long as there is breath in their bodies, the Irish people will always fight for the complete freedom of their country from British rule. If you want to further appreciate their struggle, I recommend you watch this film.