Not going to lie, The Sapphires is probably one of the cutest movies I’ve seen in a while. The only thing is should subject matter like this be cute? The movie explores a lot of different ideas, and a time period where Australia was having much the same struggles that the United States was with racism. It opened my eyes to the fact that the U.S. isn’t the only country who as delved into the struggles we have. Racism had become so bad in Australia against the natives, that white people had began stealing their children that they could pass off as white and raise them in homes with white people in the hopes of “civilizing” them. I hadn’t heard of anything quite like that before though America has done similar things.
Summary: Gail, Cynthia, and Julie arrive in town to be apart of a talent contest. Also, a talent scout will be there. Dave Lovelace is the scout who travels from location to location in these events, but with his alcoholism beginning to affect his career and ability to be trusted by those who hire him he may need to be searching for his next big gig. After seeing Gail, Cynthia, and Julie sing he is the only white person to applaud them. The girls hope he will help them go to Vietnam where they are offering to pay a singing group well to perform for the troops, while reluctant he agrees if the girls can get their act together before then with his help.
Acting: The acting from the cast is what makes the movie, and the only actor I knew from the movie was Chris O’ Dowd. He is Dave, the talent scout, and he needs all the humor you would need for this type of movie. He also has chemistry with the other actress, Deborah Mailman who is Gail, one of the sister’s in the group. I like she portrays Gail and gives her a lot of reasoning for her actions. Jessica Mauboy is Julie, and has less of a part, but is good. Shari Sebbens is Kay, and provides some interesting aspects of love in the movie. One of the more interesting dynamics thrown into the movie is Cynthia though portrayed by Miranda Tapsell. I felt she portrayed her role well of being this girl who is thrown between two identities. The one she was stolen into, and the one she has no memory of. Plus, the tension between her and Gail makes the movie a lot better.
Filming: The movie is an Australian movie, and it discusses a little of Australia’s history. Wayne Blair directs this tale, and makes something that could be really dark into a lighter tale. That might be the biggest tiff for a lot of people. The movie deals with racism and the Vietnam War, but the overall tone is very light in showing some of the darkest events in recent history. It seems the saving factor for everyone is there love for others, and that seems to salvage these dark circumstances they are in. The movie presents some harsh ideas in a lighter movie.
Plot: The plot is loosely based on a real story. The Sapphires were a real group with very different beginnings than explained in the movie. Many will hate to think of it this way, but the real story didn’t have enough romance I guess to use it as a realer account. The new story is more involved with the characters trying to find love while also touring Vietnam. Personally, I still liked the story a lot though. It doesn’t leave me with any real deep thoughts, but I thought the dynamic between the characters was good, and O’Dowd provides a lot of the comedic relief in the movie. Without him the movie wouldn’t have been nearly as good. It’s one of those movies that I liked a lot by the end, but just couldn’t quite pinpoint why.
The Sapphires is still sort of a hidden gem in America despite that it is released here now, and been for almost a year. If you haven’t checked it out it’s worth watching. Chris O’Dowd is really the main character that appeals though. I feel like the rest of the story never pulled at the deep potential it had. There was a lot to be explored in how even the girls grew up besides the love they wanted. It sticks to the lighter side though and does it well, and captures the 60’s very well.
Rating 8.5 of 10.