This week’s film review: The Sapphires

11:50 28 November 2012




Sick of life on a remote mission, Australian Aboriginal sisters Gail, Julie and Cynthia pitch up to a whites-only talent contest.


The Sapphires

Cert. PG

3/5 stars

Sick of life on a remote mission, Australian Aboriginal sisters Gail, Julie and Cynthia pitch up to a whites-only talent contest.

After an embarrassing to-do with the manager, ropey compere, Dave, persuades the girls to let him take them under his creative wing, learn some dance moves, squeeze into some matching sequined gowns and market themselves as Australia’s answer to The Supremes on the Vietnam troops entertainment circuit.

The girls sing, and in Cynthia’s case, sleep their way around the military stations, raising spirits and their celebrity profile until they earn a spot as the main act at a huge gig at Base Camp.

Following a scene-stealing performance in last summer’s Oscar-winning Bridesmaids, and now this affectionate, sincere, yet funny role as the girl’s stereo-typically drunk Irish manager Dave, Chris O’Dowd is on the rise in Hollywood as one of Britain’s biggest crowd-pulling exports.

The touches on racial and political issues are very light, so if you hate Motown and sequins and are after a deep, philosophical look at the everlasting socio-economic effects of unfounded invasions and shock assassinations of global leaders, then The Sapphires isn’t for you.

If, however, you want a happy, clappy take on a really challenging time in our history, a time that reminds you that all we have during those times is hope, and that there are inspirational people who somehow manage to cling to it when everything and everyone else seems lost, then it most definitely is.

Ashley Whittaker


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