Packed with laughs, toe-tapping songs and performances as sparkly as the costumes, Wayne Blair’s musical is a sure-fire hit.
It’s 1968, and although the ’60s haven’t exactly swung into rural Australia, three Aboriginal sisters have their hearts set on revolutionising their lives. Country & western singers Gail (Deborah Mailman), Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) and Julie (Jessica Mauboy) venture out from their dusty mission to a local talent contest, where they are discovered by Irishman Dave Lovelace (Chris O’Dowd). Just sober enough to appreciate their talent, Dave convinces the trio to turn to soul music, and, after they reunite with their estranged cousin Kay (Shari Sebbens), the newly groovy gals jet off to entertain the troops in Vietnam.
Richly cinematic and propelled by a must-own soundtrack of classic soul – Heard It Through The Grapevine, What A Man and I’ll Take You There amongst them – The Sapphires is a film to celebrate. Blair has polished the true story to a high shine with cinematographer Warwick Thornton (Samson & Delilah), while the superb casting ensures both musical and comedic success. After a raucous reception at Cannes, The Sapphires are destined to triumph on the homefront.
4 1/2 Stars
Published in the August 2012 Issue of Limelight Magazine