The Sapphires Reviews

Our Review

Mauboy and Mailman shine in Aussie gem

Adam Bub, MovieFix
The critics at Cannes loved it, and now it's Australia's turn to embrace the toe-tapping, feel-good Australian musical comedy-drama, The Sapphires. With a stellar cast, an infectious soul soundtrack and a dynamic 1960s backdrop of revolution and rebellion, this vibrant gem is hard to resist.

Adapted from Tony Briggs' popular 2005 stage play, The Sapphires tells the incredible true story of four Aboriginal women from an isolated outback mission who form a girl group to perform for American troops during the Vietnam War in 1968.

Young mum Julie (Jessica Mauboy), "mama bear" oldest sister Gail (Deborah Mailman), serial flirt Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) and fair-skinned Melbourne cousin Kay (Shari Sebbens) enlist Irish booze-hound (Chris O'Dowd) to manage them and get them up to scratch for their international tour.

In Saigon, the Sapphires experience the highs and lows of love and success amid the tumult of the Vietnam War, the American civil rights movement, and their own issues as young indigenous women.

Director Wayne Blair infuses The Sapphires with a ballsy, offbeat sense of humour that cuts through the sentiment, and strikes right to the heart of the rebellious spirit of the women and the music they sing.

Mauboy and Mailman are commanding screen presences, and they make a mint out of their characters Julie, the lead singer just discovering her voice (as a woman and singer), and Gail, the defensive "boss" of the group. Bridesmaids and The IT Crowd's O'Dowd is extremely likeable as their dopey manager Dave Lovelace.

You'll want to buy the soundtrack to listen again to songs like 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine', 'I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)', and 'What a Man'.

The script by Keith Thompson and Tony Briggs (the latter being the son of an original Sapphire), is a bit heavy-handed at times, hammering home messages about war and race relations that most viewers can sense without needing to be signposted.

Nevertheless, The Sapphires is often laugh-out-loud funny, constantly entertaining, and close to being a great Australian classic.

MovieFIX interview: Jessica Mauboy shows us her best crying face — watch now

Watch The Sapphires trailer here

Your Reviews

Sid Movies
Sid Movies
Well done Australia , a movie that does not dumb down Australia . The 60's were a simplier time laden with complicated issues . The movie dealt with a number of issues that were portryed in a heartfelt manner. The way the indigeneous families were scripted was sensitive and clever I felt proud that the story was told . Should be a project for English students in our schools . Go see the movie you will want to shed a little tear at certain times , and feel good at the end a great story told by engaging actors with great screen prescence . The whole cast deserved a pay rise. Three Star plus hope it rates when the awards of Oz come around. Sid Movies^
Gillian
Gillian
Great Movie! As all Australian movies are. Loved the singing and acting, so truely Aussie. Can't wait for it to come out on DVD, will certainly add it to my movie library!!!!!!!!
Lorraine
Lorraine
This should get movie of the year. Excellent
Maid Marion
Maid Marion
Brilliant, seen it twice already and would go again
Gidget
Gidget
Great to see everyone enjoyed it as much and myself and 4 friends that went to see this, Absolutely a beautiful film,.Had it all, Laughter, tears ,drama and great music. Acting was superb by all the cast. Loved that the audience showed their appreciation at the end of the movie with their applause. Thank you so much for bringing this story to film.
norma
norma
I am often dissapointed with Aussiie movies but certain not this one. really enjoyed every minute of it. Please go see it, you won't be sorry.
emily
emily
deadly movie made me laugh and cry well done would watch it over and over again [-0-]
Gary
Gary
Highly recomend, went in with no expectations and it had everything and more I would expect from a good Australian film, great cast, great story.
buddy
buddy
this movie is the bombz goes to show the wider non indigeneous society that there is talent not just sportz absolutely outstanding
Phil
Phil
Fantastic this movie grabs from the start , easily the best Aussie movie and up there with the yanks best. The audience laughed, cheered and clapped like we were at a live show.
Jodi
Jodi
This was a great movie!! I went not knowing what to expect at all and loved loved loved it! An awesome Australian movie that was so refreshing! Was such a fantastic uplifting movie. Really loved that no one was photoshopped and over made up to look all Hollywood. These were ordinary people doing extraordinary acting! All looked beautiful without having to conform! Loved it. Cannot recommend highly enough!
Clara
Clara
[-o-] best movie ever loved every bit of it! im proud to call myself an aborigine! :))
jacko
jacko
What a great movie. Feel good, moving at times, paced perfectly. It will leave you with a smile on your face. Make sure you see it
Kay
Kay
I loved this film.. The girls are fabulous..The music is fabulous..well done Aussi film makers
Zelig
Zelig
A terrific film at every level . Not to be missed!!!!!!!!
Amy
Amy
Absolutely amazing. Possibly the greatest Australian film ever... Hugely talented cast and an amazing soundtrack... A must see or everyone.
Vicki
Vicki
Amazing movie, cried and laughed and cried. Music was great, my feet were tapping. Go see it but take plenty of tissues!!
nova-lee
nova-lee
bloody awesome movie, wanted to rewind n watch again , beautiful performances from all actors!!! well done xxx
Marilyn
Marilyn
Amazing laught out loud sometimes sad.... but not to be missed. Had the pleasure of being in the Verona Theatre at Paddington on Thursday night with a wonderful group of friends and an amazing introduction to the very sexy very intelligent very witty Director Wayne Blair
Sellyboo
Sellyboo
It sounds so interesting! Maybe i coulddrag my dad to watch it with me :3
margaret maclellan
margaret maclellan
loved it
Chante
Chante
Excellent movie! Laughs, tears and truly moving moments. A must see for sure!
Pat
Pat
Great movie loved it laughed cried and sang out of tune to the music. MUST SEE
m
m
THE ABSOLUTE BEST MOVE, this is a must see
joe
joe
whithout a doubt truly brilliant.
vivien
vivien
Best movie I've seen all year am going back to see it again this weekend
Kate
Kate
Best movie I have seen in a really long time. One of the best movies I have ever seen. Highly recommended.
maimie
maimie
Great movie. Good singing, good rythm, makes you laugh and makes you cry, just a little bit.
heather
heather
a damn good movie. A must see. You wont be able to stop laughing, crying and dancing to the music.
Kay
Kay
I loved every minute and didn't want it to end....Don't miss this fun movie !!!
retagirl
retagirl
awesome movie loved it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Emily
Emily
Great Movie for all, its a must see!
nova-M
nova-M
Great feelgood movie - dont miss it !
Judy
Judy
what a great movie, I laughed, cried and tapped my feet all the way through a must see
S
S
ITS EXCELLENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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