Composer Elliot Goldenthal earned his second Academy Award nomination for Michael Collins, which eschewed the rigorously intellectual approach of his previous scores in favor of a lyrical, anthemic sensibility well-matched to the film's portrayal of Ireland's famed Easter Rebellion. While some of the battle themes embrace the dissonance that was a signature of earlier Goldenthal efforts, for the most part Michael Collins boasts an epic sweep wrought from dramatic strings, intimate piano solos, and soaring female vocals, including three contributions from pop star Sinéad O'Connor (most notably the traditional Irish folk tune "She Moved Through the Fair"). Still, Goldenthal avoids pandering or troweling on the Gaelic elements, achieving a dark and dramatic score via traditional means like melodic beauty and thematic development -- indeed, Michael Collins is one of his most traditional scores, not to mention one of his most effective.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny