Top positive review
50 people found this helpful
Bold Acting, Sensibly Handled Senstive Issues
on July 15, 2013
This "gem" of a film is a treasure that's been buried under shallow box-office movies.
"The Sapphires" is not a glitzy Hollywood romp romanticizing the late 1960s. Neither is it a raw shock-value film of the Vietnam crisis. What it is is a gritty story about the conflicts of race issues, betrayal, family conflict, and the loss of innocence. And while the film doesn't shy away from the themes of exploitation, sexuality and confusion, it also doesn't saturate the screen with images to meant to overwhelm the viewer.
The based-on-life story of four sister/cousins (Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell) who boldly belly-up to the auditions for entertainers for the Vietnam Troops is inspiring. The fights between the girls are fast, furious and leave you breathless. The manager (Chris O'Dawd) pushes back with worthwhile pressure. The family dynamics are complicated and real.
The story stays focussed on the issue of the girls and their struggles. The effects are subtle and lend to the story, not overtaking the visuals. The most refreshing part? The actors are not glammed up; they are diamonds-in-the-rough and it's the rough that makes them great. They don't look or sound like Barbie Commercials.
But wait! What about the music? If it's a film about a girl-band...
You won't be disappointed by the cast's ability to belt their pipes worthy of the big-screen. There are 16 songs from the era, including (but not limited to) "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," "What A Man," "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch," "Soul Man," "Today I Started Loving You Again," and "In the Sweet Bye and Bye."
Going to add this film to my home collection. And I am picky with what goes into my home collection.