Saturday, 29 September 2012

The Sapphires: Movie Review

The Sapphires Movie Review

Cast: Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica MauboyShari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell
Director: Wayne Blair

An unabashed utter crowd-pleaser, The Sapphires is one of heck of a roof-raising movie with soul aplenty.

It centres on four indigenous women (Gail, Julie, Kay and Cynthia) from an Aborigine mission, discovered by talent scout Dave Lovelace (a dishevelled but scene-stealing Chris O'Dowd) and who are moulded into the Aussie answer to the Supremes before scoring gigs entertaining the troops in Vietnam as the war rages there in 1969.

But Dave doesn't have an easy route, moulding these four wannabe singers; there are hints of problems between Gail and Kay which date back to the mission and have been lying dormant for years.

Sure, there are the cliches aplenty - the sassy fiery one, the sexy one, the naive one and the talented one make up the band, but thanks to a rousing soul soundtrack, The Sapphires rises above as the band comes together in Aussie under the tutelage of Dave and his very funny put downs.

Hints of tensions bubble under but unsurprisingly come to a head when the band hits Saigon and their naivety gives cause to many eye opening moments for the girls from the Aborigine mission.

While that may be predictable and the Saigon scenes play out in a somewhat sanitised way, (this film's never really about the politics of what's going on and things only come to an explosive end - unsurprisingly -when Dave and the sassy Sapphire Gail finally find a middle ground) The Sapphires is nothing short of a rollicking good time, with oneliners guaranteed to get the audience onside.

But it's Chris O'Dowd who really impresses here, building on his charming performance in Bridesmaids, he shows he's one of the best comedy actors around delivering lines with charisma, comic deftness and to killer effect.

Sure, the political is shoved to one side in favour of the superficial feel good, but when the feel good is so raucous and so rousing you can't help but get swept along in this tale of a family coming back together again and discovering their voices.

They shimmy through the slightly dodgy bits of storytelling with such ease that it's pointless to quibble with the energy, warmth and overall positive vibe of this feel-good, occasionally cheesy piece.

The Sapphires is occasionally less than polished, but it's never anything less than a great time at the movies.


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