Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
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Neil Jordan's depiction of the controversial life and death of Michael Collins, the "Lion of Ireland", who led the IRA against the UK and helped found the Irish Free State in 1922. Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
Thomas MacDonagh surrendered at Jacob's Factory; he wasn't present with GPO leaders Pearse, Clarke or Connolly when they surrendered at 16 Moore Street. See more »
[dictating a letter]
You've got to think of him the way he was... He was what the times demanded. And life without him seems impossible. But he's dead. And life is possible. He made it possible.
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Opening scroll: At the turn of the century Britian was the foremost world power and the British Empire stretched over two-thirds of the globe. Despite the extent of its power its most troublesome colony had always been the one closest to it, Ireland For seven hundred years Britain's rule over Ireland had been resisted by attempts at rebellion and revolution, all of which ended in failure. Then, in 1916, a rebellion began, to be followed by a guerilla war which would change the nature of that rule forever. The mastermind behind that war was Michael Collins. His life and death defined the period, in its triumph, terror and tragedy. This is his story. See more »
In 1916 Dublin, Michael Collins (Liam Neeson), Harry Boland (Aidan Quinn), and Éamon de Valera (Alan Rickman) are among the captured rebels in the Easter Rising. After being released, they are politically active. De Valera and the political leadership get arrested. Collins is tipped off by double agent police detective Ned Broy (Stephen Rea). Collins goes into hiding with his best friend Boland. He meets his love Kitty Kiernan (Julia Roberts). Collins and Boland lead a guerrilla war against the British forces. De Valera takes Boland with him to work diplomatically. Eventually, the Brits relent and De Valera sends Collins to negotiate. Collins returns with home rule and splitting off Northern Ireland with De Valera opposing him. In 1922, the Anglo-Irish Treaty is approved. De Valera and his men resign taking Boland with them. They start their own revolt against the Irish Free State Army headed by Collins.
This is an expansive epic historical drama. Liam Neeson leads this with his powerful presence. He looms over this movie like the leading man that he is. The actors are all great although Julia Roberts does stick out a little. It would have been more fitting to have an Irish lass. The movie does try to fit a lot into two hours. Some of it can feel a bit disjointed. Liam Neeson is big enough to tie it all together. It would also be nice for him to have a constant foil. Whether or not he deserves it historically, the movie seems to make De Valera Collins' foil. It would be great to fully embrace the conflict and give De Valera more screen time. Make this Collins versus De Valera.
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