Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Sapphires

Ah ha! The Australians CAN make a cheerful movie involving aboriginal people. Unlike Samson and Delilah and Rabbit Proof Fence and The Tracker, The Sapphires oozes positivity and charm. Sadly, unlike the three films just mentioned, it's really not very good.

The story is fine - back in 1969, three aboriginal sisters and their cousin who all have amazing voices, go off to Vietnam to sing for the entertainment of the American troops. One of them falls in love with their Irish manager and they come home and live happily ever after. As you might expect, the music in this film is great and it's great to look at.

The problem is that the acting is a bit wooden and the script isn't great. There was no point where I forgot I was watching a film. The family home outside Cummeragunga looked like someone had parked a very small wooden house next to some gum trees and dressed up some actors and arranged them on the verandah and in the yard - there was no sense of them actually living there. The romance between Dave and Gail seems contrived and without spark. And any sense of the sisters overcoming prejudice or breaking new ground for the aboriginal people is almost entirely missing. It was quite fun to watch, but  I feel this movie didn't fulfill its potential

Anne's rating 2/5

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