Sunday, January 27, 2019

Michael Collins

Written and Directed by
Neil Jordan
Starring Liam Neeson, Aiden Quinn, Julia Roberts, Alan Rickman
IMDB Entry

Liam Neeson is nowadays most strongly identified with his hard-ass character from Taken, but earlier in his career, the took a lot of prestige roles, and one of his better ones was in the biography, Michael Collins.

Neeson plays the title character, an Irish revolutionary who was instrumental in establishing the Irish Free State. It’s a flashback, starting with the news of his death coming to his fiancĂ©e, Kitty (Julia Roberts) Working with his colleagues Harry Boland (Aiden Quinn) and Eamon de Valera (Alan Rickman), Collins masterminds a campaign to force the British to give Ireland its independence.  But he get almost as much trouble from his allies in the IRA, who disagree with his ideas of how to go about it and with what he accomplished.

Though there are some historical glosses for dramatic purposes, the film is one of the better portrayals of the fight for independence. It was a major hit at the time, but this sort of biopic has lost some of its luster and seems to have been overlooked.

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