If you love Chris O’Dowd, ’60s girl groups, Australia, and movies about the Vietnam War, consider this your lucky day. The Sapphires contains all that and more; click through for a clip and a trailer.
Set in 1960s Australia and based on a true story, the film chronicles the rise of The Sapphires, a group billed as Australia’s answer to The Supremes. O’Dowd plays Dave Lovelace, a down-on-his-luck Irish musician who discovers a singing group of four aboriginal Australian girls in a talent contest and steers them away from their country-western leanings, introducing them to soul music. And, as it turns out, they are good at it! (Insert montage.) From there, the girls go and sing for the troops in Vietnam, where they give a great performance, witness the horrors of war, and, from the looks of it, fall in love with various men. You will probably cry at least a little bit watching it.
According to the film’s press materials, it’s also set against the backdrop of the struggle for aboriginal rights in Australia, which took much inspiration from the civil rights movement in the US. Even from the preview, I can see there are complex racial dynamics at play; when Dave says the girls are “black,” it means something quite different from the “black” that the American soul groups represented, and it’s also strange to see a white guy teach “black” girls about soul music. Nevertheless, it seems from the reviews thus far that the film handles these issues with grace and humor.
The Sapphires comes out in the US March 22. Here’s another preview clip:
(Via Yahoo Movies)