Venue: The Clarke Memorial Hall, Borrisokane
THE SAPPHIRES (Bealtine Festival film)
Director: Wayne Blair / Australia / 2012 / 103 minutes / Certificate : PG
Cast : Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell
What a delight The Sapphires is! Set at the height of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement and brimming with Motown hits, this portrait of a late 1960s girl group - Australia's answer to The Supremes - is a celebration of great music and triumph in the face of adversity.
Based on the hit stage play by Tony Briggs, whose mother and three aunts formed the real-life singing quartet, The Sapphires is an effervescent, irresistible crowd-pleaser, with plenty of sass to go along with its fully earned sentiment.
The Sapphires are four young Aboriginal girls - Gail, Julie, Kay and Cynthia - who are discovered one night in a dusty outback tavern by lanky, often soused Irish-born talent scout Dave (Chris O'Dowd). With a sharp ear for honey-tinged voices, he convinces the girls to switch their act from country and western to rhythm and blues.
Dave vows to make The Sapphires shine. And against all odds, he pulls it off: the Sapphires' first gig takes them to war-torn Southeast Asia, where they entertain the troops.
The affable O'Dowd is so endearing as Dave that he would nearly steal the show - if it weren't for the sparkling presence and irrepressible charm of his co-stars. The Sapphires is a gem of a film - and be sure to stay for the closing credits for some final fun surprises. - Toronto International Film Festival 2012