Wayne Blair

The Sapphires

Everyone likes music, and everyone in their right mind thinks that Chris O’Dowd is hilarious, so the new film from Australian director Wayne Blair, The Sapphires, should be a real crowd pleaser. Heck, it’s fun enough that our own Simon Gallagher gave it a kind review after seeing it at Cannes last year, a review in which he called it “the point where Dreamgirls and Cool Runnings meet.” I don’t know about you, but where I come from, to invoke Cool Runnings is high praise indeed. Now that The Weinstein Company has picked up the film and set it for a North American release on March 22, they’ve put out a new trailer to sell it to American audiences, and as you can see, it does indeed seem like a really good time. It’s got humor, a charming period setting, tons of soul music, and even a little action and drama once it goes to the Vietnam freaking War. What more could a movie offer up in an attempt to warm the cockles of your icy heart and make you decide to give it a chance? Come on, just try to watch this trailer and not beam at O’Dowd’s cuteness with the twinkle of a crush gleaming in your eye. Try not to get sucked in by these vivacious young ladies‘ enthusiasm to chew up the world and spit it out. Dare you.

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The Sapphires Movie

“The simplest way to sell Wayne Blair‘s film debut The Sapphires is to say it is like the point where Dreamgirls and Cool Runnings meet, only with a more explicit socio-cultural message, and played out against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. And all in all it’s a largely undemanding, entertaining affair.” Sweet and easy, that’s how Simon described the new film about an all-Aboriginal singing group who deal with drama from outside and within when he saw it at Cannes. He liked it, and now that there’s a trailer out, it’s easy to see why. Check it out for yourself:

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The simplest way to sell Wayne Blair‘s film debut The Sapphires is to say it is like the point where Dreamgirls and Cool Runnings meet, only with a more explicit socio-cultural message, and played out against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. And all in all it’s a largely undemanding, entertaining affair. The title refers to an all-Aboriginal vocal group – Gail (Deborah Mailman), Julie (Jessica Mauboy), Kay (Shari Sebbens), and Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) – who leave the discriminant community their families live on the edge of and travel to Vietnam to entertain the American troops, under the guidance of their self-styled “Soul Man” manager (played by the excellent Chris O’Dowd in a role that bears resemblance to John Candy‘s in Cool Runnings). Along the way The Sapphires explores similar issues to Dreamgirls: the group are initially torn by personal frictions and haunted by underlying racial tensions both within their own group and in the wider world, and have their heads turned by the new opportunities of fame.

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