Flash Movie Review: The Sapphires
Since the euphoric high several weeks ago from the Oscar telecast, the caliber of movies that have been released has continued to sink week after week. My times spent at the movie theaters have dragged out due to boredom. There are moments I have sat staring at the movie mess splashing on the screen and thought if I at least had my checkbook, I could balance it. I am annoyed that movie studios do not spread out their quality films through the entire year instead of stacking them up on holidays. After several long weeks I finally saw a movie that surprised and excited me. Inspired by a true story, four aboriginal girls hoped to form a singing group that would lead them to a better life. Set in an Australian town in the late 1960’s; sisters Gail, Julie and Cynthia, played by Deborah Mailman (Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Book of Revelation), Jessica Mauboy (Bran Nue Dae) and relative newcomer Miranda Tapsell, entered a singing contest despite the all Caucasian audience. MC/talent scout Dave Lovelace, played by Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, This is 40), recognized the girls’ talent and began a business relationship that would take the girls overseas to entertain the U.S. troops in Viet Nam. The sisters with their cousin Kay, played by relative newcomer Shari Sebbens, would have to grow up fast as the world around them could quickly end with a single explosion. This film festival winner touched on heavy topics such as prejudice, war and death; but maintained a light coverage, keeping the focus on the girls. I thought Chris did a wonderful job with his character, carrying the majority of amusing lines. An important aspect of this movie was the awesome soulful soundtrack headed by Jessica Mauboy’s killer vocals. Numerous times I found myself tapping my feet to the musical beats. What a great story that superseded any acting quibbles I may have had or the stretching of the truth. I was able to leave the theater with a smile on my face and Motown tunes in my head. A couple of brief scenes with blood.
3 1/2 stars