The Sapphires

The Sapphires

(2012)

Follow your heart. Discover your soul.

True-story Australian comedy, set to a soul music soundtrack, following four Aboriginal women discovered by a talent scout (Chris O’Dowd, Bridesmaids) who form a musical group and travel to Vietnam to perform for troops. Adapted from the hit play of the same name, itself inspired by the story of writer Tony Briggs' mother.... More

Dave (O’Dowd) is no great musician but he knows talent. Determined to find Australia’s answer to The Supremes, he discovers sisters Cynthia and Gail singing country and western in a local talent contest. He persuades them to switch to soul and form The Sapphires with younger sister Julie and cousin Kay. Soon they’re on their way to South East Asia, singing tunes made famous by Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye and The Four Tops.Hide

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Flicks Review

A welcome Australian spin on a familiar tale, The Sapphires doesn't hold a lot of surprises, but it's nevertheless a winning combination of girl power uplift and late '60s nostalgia.... More

The film takes the time to establish its points of difference in its portrayal of the lives of the four (initially three) Aboriginal girls who will eventually make up the titular group. Some of the film's best moments come when they enter a local talent contest MCed by Dave, a drunken Irish import played by Chris O'Dowd.

The talent contest doesn't go their way, but Dave spots something special in the girls, and they convince him to manage their hastily assembled outfit. After recruiting estranged cousin Kay from the city, they successfully audition for the army and head off to Vietnam to perform for American troops.

At this point the film starts losing its uniqueness. It doesn't derail the movie, and audiences seem to be lapping it up, but very little occurs that you won't see coming a mile off.

The civil rights era touchstones lend some dramatic context, and an effort has been made to give each character their own storyline. The music cues are all pretty familiar, but undeniably enliven the proceedings.

The Sapphires is clearly designed to be a crowd-pleaser - it succeeds in that regard and it's fantastic that the film is making a mint at the antipodean box office. It's just a touch... predictable. But so are many good movies, and audiences aren't likely to be disappointed.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 3 reviews
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A very uplifting true story of a group of aboriginal entertainers making it big in Vietnam during the war.

A nice snap shot of the motown music of the time that helps endear them to the american negro soldier.

Some interesting dynamics between the girls and their drunkard irish musician manager who is as much a hindrance as a help.


BY Ken-Burns superstar

Don't take it seriously. The music is good, there are a lot of laughs and the based on a true events made it even more viewable and some emotional twists.


BY Brian1 superstar

A lovely story, with about the right mix of humour, drama and nostalgia. Acting is excellent and it is a reminder of those dramatic days of the Vietnam war eara.


The Press Reviews

92% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Feel-good Australian cinema, packed with laughs and soul (both kinds). Full Review

  • The Sapphires is glossy and often silly, but it's zippy enough to make the tour worthwhile. Full Review

  • All shortcomings are invariably forgiven whenever the hyper-talented Mauboy gets near a microphone, and the film's winning selection of soul standards and original tunes fire up. Full Review

  • Soul music's alleged redemptive powers are fully at work in this jumbled, sketchily written but vastly appealing true-life musical comedy. Full Review

The Talk
92 %

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