Action / Biography / Comedy / Drama / Music / Musical / Romance
Action / Biography / Comedy / Drama / Music / Musical / Romance
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1968 was the year that changed the world. And for four young Aboriginal sisters from a remote mission this is the year that would change their lives forever. Around the globe, there was protest and revolution in the streets. Indigenous Australians finally secured the right to vote. There were drugs and the shock of a brutal assassination. And there was Vietnam. The sisters, Cynthia, Gail, Julie and Kay are discovered by Dave, a talent scout with a kind heart, very little rhythm but a great knowledge of soul music. Billed as Australia's answer to 'The Supremes', Dave secures the sisters their first true gig, and flies them to Vietnam to sing for the American troops. Based on a true story, THE SAPPHIRES is a triumphant celebration of youthful emotion, family and music. —Goalpost Pictures.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Aug 18, 2021 at 06:20 PM
- Eka Darville as Hendo
- Jake Ryan as Cochese
- Jessica Mauboy as Julie
- Tory Kittles as Robby
grade Movie Reviews
An excellent date movie with a bit of substance
I am a musician who loves soul and a sucker for war movies, so this movie would have to be pretty bad for me to dislike it. Was it perfect? No, far from it - but parts were darned near. That the only face on the screen I knew was one I quite like (Chris O'Dowd) and the lead female (Deborah Mailman) ate the camera up - a refreshing thing to see an unconventional beauty do. Without giving overmuch away, the good: The back story is heartbreaking, the Vietnam bits looked great, the main actors were excellent. The bad: Some of the performances seemed a bit canned, the lead singer sounded like a '90s pop star (with even some auto-tuner) and not everyone on camera was much of an actor - but it's an indie film, so I'm willing to forgive.If you enjoyed The Commitments, know you some 'Nam films, know something about Australia & the sad treatment of the Aboriginal people and you like old soul music, you'll like this movie. It struck me as nearly a perfect date movie for folks willing to think just a bit, with things for guys and gals alike.
I knew the leading actor starring in this film, that it was something to do with a group of singers, and that it was well rated by critics, it is an Australian film based on the stage play of the same name, I was looking forward to it. Basically set in 1968 Australia, in the Cummeragunja Reserve, indigenous Australian sisters Gail (Rabbit-Proof Fence's Deborah Mailman) and Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) enter a talent competition in the local town, their younger sister Julie (Jessica Mauboy), who has just had a baby and is considered too young, also bribes her way in to join them. The girls are initially unwelcome for being black, they perform a country song on stage, some of the audience so respond positively, including alcoholic, Irish talent scout Dave Lovelace (Chris O'Dowd). The girls lose the talent contest, but approach Dave, Julie hands him a piece of paper advertising for singers to perform to the troops in Vietnam, he agrees to become their agent and get them an audition. Dave tells them they have been granted an audition spot in Melbourne, Gail, Cynthia and Julie travel there, where they meet their cousin Kay, she initially turns down the chance to join the group but changes her mind. After days of practising their moves, switching from country to soul music, they are almost ready, until Julie gives Cynthia a letter from her fiancé that he is calling off the wedding. Despite this, they manage to audition very well, there is still concern about their choice of name, the Cummeragunja Song Birds, until Kay looks at Cynthia's engagement ring, she comes up with their new name, The Sapphires. The group soon become a success with the crowds but fighting within the group threatens to tear them apart; Gail being the aggressive matriarch, and Kay struggling with her multi-ethnic identity. Julie proves to be the best voice of the group and may have the opportunity to have a successful solo singing career, while Gail and Dave begin a romantic relationship, but Gail's patience is pushed to the limit by his reckless behaviour and a personal secret. The Sapphires do another gig, Cynthia drinks with some men and is not allowed on again, this causes further tension within the group. Later, Dave and Gail are talking, he hands her a letter to open later, they are about to kiss when they are caught in a crossfire of war, Dave disappears in the chaos and gets shot. The girls escape in a helicopter, Gail reads Dave's letter at home, it details that he wanted to propose to her, but it was her choice. The girls band together to finish their tour, Dave survived the shooting, he is reunited with Gail in a Vietnamese hospital. The Sapphires return to Australia, where the rest of the family are told about Gail and Dave's plan to marry, and the group give a joyous performance for friend and family in the yard. Also starring Tory Kittles as Robby, Eka Darville as Hendo, Lynette Narkle as Nanny Theresa, Kylie Belling as Geraldine, Gregory J. Fryer as Selwyn and Don Battee as Myron Ritchie. The actresses give good performances and are really good at singing, but O'Dowd is arguably the star of the show, stealing nearly every scene with his sarcastic snappy personality, the Motown soundtrack of songs work well, there is poignancy with stuff about racism and the war, and it has good heartfelt humour, it is just a nice feel-good musical comedy. Good!
Soul sisters, brown sugar
A good-time, 60's musical drama set in the unlikely locations of rural Australia and the U.S. Army bases of Vietnam as we follow the on-the-road adventures of four young Aboriginal cousins who form a close-harmony girl-group but who get frozen out at local talent shows due to white prejudice. Then, with the help of boozy, seat-of-his-pants, soul-music loving Irish musical arranger, Chris O'Dowd, they escape their small-town surroundings and get a gig touring said army bases having been made-over by him into a Supremes-type, crowd-pleasing outfit who of course go over big with the young, mostly black G.I.'s who make up their audience. Various romantic entanglements follow, not unnaturally as the girls hit their hormonal stride as well as other highs and lows as they end their dramatic tour-of-duty and return back home for the predictable but still welcome happy ending for pretty much everyone.Drawing on the shared racism by black Americans fighting for their country while back home the civil rights movement is in full swing with the less well-known racism experienced by the Aborigine community at the hands of the majority white "gubba" population, the film attempts and largely succeeds in improbably mixing this in with the more showbizzy musical backdrop as the girls knock out highly creditable versions of the great soul numbers of the day from the Motown, Stax and Atlantic labels.Somehow then this unlikely mix of "M.A.S.H." crossed with "The Commitments" works, largely down to the commitment (sorry) of its cast. The four girls gell well together, each with their own defined characteristics, handily explained to us late-on by O'Dowd's Dave Lovelace character while O'Dowd delivers another entertaining turn as the hard-bitten manager who softens to his protégés once they hit the road.The story is naturally episodic as the girls fall into one adventure after another and not all of them come to the light, to quote Sam and Dave, but its heart and soul are in the right place and if you're a dyed-in-the-wool soul boy like you'll love the dynamic soundtrack of sweet late 60's and 70's soul music too.
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