Film Review: The Sapphires


A fun film that manages to celebrate life and covers a range of social, political and racial issues, all while entertaining a diverse audience. Sounds impossible, right? Well, Deborah Mailman manages to do just that in her stunning new Australian film The Sapphires.

Inspired by a moving true story and adapted from a stage play, the film tells a quintessentially Australian tale- following an all {Aboriginal} girls’ group during the 1960s as they strive to make their dreams to become stars come true.

The McCrae sisters, Cynthia {Miranda Tapsell}, Gail {Deborah Mailman} and Julie {Jessica Mauboy} grew up on a remote Aboriginal mission where singing was a huge part of their lives from a young age. They honestly believed country music was the best kind to sing to help them realise their goals. Until, that is, they entered a talent competition and met a boozy Irishman in the music industry named Dave Lovelace {Chris O’Dowd}.

He gives the girls a Motown makeover introducing them to soul music, and it seems their dreams could come true once and for all.  With the addition of a fourth member, a long estranged cousin Kay {Shari Sebbens}, the group undergoes a transformation into the shimmering Sapphires, becoming an instant song and dance sensation. They’re offered the chance of a lifetime playing for the troops in Vietnam.

Filled with fabulous, sparkling ‘60s outfits and a lot of soulful singing that will have you wanting to dance in your chair, The Sapphires not only has elements of comedy, but probes more dramatic and profound themes as well: illustrating the realities of war, the harshness of racism extant in Australia during the time and even referencing the Stolen Generation.

However, overall the film still manages to be uplifting and positive; using the music and classic tracks such as “I’ll take you there” and “I heard it through the grapevine” to impart a sense of joy not only to the soldiers within the film, but the audience as well.

The use of black and white archival footage of the war and of the Aboriginal camps of the ‘60s adds a great effect to the movie, truly emphasising the harsh reality of these situations, especially when juxtaposed against the glamorous entertainment industry.

All of the actors perfectly encapsulate the essence of their characters, and the beautiful vocals only enhance their performances. Deborah Mailman, who is the most experienced of the four leads, plays the majority of the more dramatic scenes and does a truly wonderful job in the way she handles them.

I would give The Sapphires a solid 8 out of 10 stars. It is a great Australian movie that will have you experiencing the widest spectrum of emotions, so have your tissues ready and be prepared to want to dance along to each and every one of the songs.


Did they really have it coming?

“Being a movie villain is not easy. Nobody respects your work, everyone loves your sworn enemy, and cheers if he straight up murders your ass”

 Cezary Jan Strusiewicz

An interesting article that I stumbled upon through my RSS feeds was an article on entitled  9 Famous Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along. Villains, right? Surely they deserve everything they get! After all they are the bad guys. But as mind blowing as it seems,  when you take a step back and have an objective view, in many of these films its the villain who cops the raw end of the deal…

 Edward Rooney- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Mr. Rooney was the  incredibly mean  Dean of Students who spends the entire movie trying to catch Ferris skipping school while pretending to be sick. What’s his deal anyway? I mean why does he care if one student take the day off?

Think about it, really think about it…..

  • Hmmm, maybe for starters because its his job?
  • He is a teacher who takes his job seriously and actually gives a damn about his students, something teachers within the public system are always criticised for not doing enough!
  • (Whether or not he is an asshole besides the point) – he is paid to make sure kids aren’t behaving the way Ferris did

And you know what? He was right all along!

  • Ferris was skipping school
  • He lied, stole and cause millions in property damage when he destroyed Cameron’s dad’s car

And who loses in the end? Rooney of course! Not only is Ferris never exposed, but he also loses his wallet and is attacked by a Rottweiler. Oh the price of caring!

The Wicked Witch of The West- The Wizard of Oz

 Her name says it all doesn’t it? She’s not just any witch of the west, she is the “wicked” witch of the west! And she does enough to earn this title doesn’t she? She kidnaps Dorothy, threatens to drown her dog and attempts to set The Scarecrow on fire; just to get a Dorothy’s ruby slippers. That is some serious evil right there!

But think about it, really think about it…..

  • The Witch sisters are hanging around Oz, minding their own business when some random teenager  casually arrives and crushes the wicked witch of the east to death with a house, killing her instantly. And if that wasn’t enough this  the teenager then goes ahead corpse-loots the victim’s shoes
  • The Wicked Witch of the West was never after world domination or even Dorothy, all she wanted was the damn ruby slippers!

And you know what? She was right all along!

  • According to any inheritance law in the world, those slippers should go to the deceased’s remaining family, in this case the Wicked Witch of the West; making them rightfully hers all along!

All the Wicked Witch of the West ever wanted was her slippers back, she never tries to actually murder Dorothy; but of course this gets her no where and she too is murdered at the hands of the teenager!

Sauron- The Lord of the Rings

Sauron, surely he is your classic evil overlord! Look at him: he has a flaming eye-ball and a helmet of spikes; and don’t forget the armies of monsters he has. Not to mention all that uhh stuff he did?

Think about it, really think about it…..

  • What did he do? The entire 2000-hour trilogy never mentioning this! Sure he was building an army to advance on middle earth, but who were they and what were they fighting for?
  • Orcs thats who! And this was a world where Orcs were used as target practice among elvish communities, the minorities in each kingdom
  • Sauron could have just been trying to earn a slice of middle earth for him and his followers, petitioning for freedom for the minorities!

And you know what? He was right all along

  • Does everyone not deserve freedom?
  • Sure his methods were excessively violent, but that is the case in any revolution!

Of course Sauron being the ‘villain’ did not win the battle, the Orcs remaining unable to live freely among the elves of Middle Earth.

Mind blown? Well to check out more Villains who were right all along, check out the original post and  read more click here: 9 Famous Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along |