Posted on 11/10/12 06:03 AM
Based on a true story, "The Sapphires" is the tale of four aboriginal girls who formed a soul group to entertain American troops in Vietnam.
It's unfairly been labelled "The Australian Commitments" but this is a technically far superior movie. Australia has been producing a lot of quality film-makers and director Blair gives us the sort of good-natured fun movie Hollywood seems to have forgotten how to make. With it's vivid colors, "The Sapphires" recalls the golden age of Hollywood musicals and the first number is a homage to "West Side Story".
O'Dowd is a likeable presence as the loveable rogue who manages the group and introduces them to the joy of soul music. If you're not a fan of soul music you'll struggle to enjoy the movie but, let's face it, if you don't appreciate soul music you'll probably struggle to enjoy life itself.
This year, Australians have given us quality arthouse fare with "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Hunter" and here they successfully take on Hollywood at their own game. "The Sapphires" proves you can be light and breezy without being trite and cheesy. It's cinema you can tap your foot to, how can you not enjoy that?