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Now for rent: The Sapphires shines a light on 60s American soul, Aussie style

The Sapphires


For American soul music lovers, or music lovers in general, this based-on-a-true-story film about four young Australian Aboriginal vocalists who formed a music group called The Sapphires and performed for the troops in Viet Nam in the late 1960s is a definite must see.

This heartwarming tale tells the story of four young Australian women who pursue their music dreams when they get the opportunity to perform overseas during the Viet Nam war.

The engaging script offers a comfortable roller coaster ride of emotions, as the four aspiring vocalists navigate the dips and turns of family life, love, friendship, racism, dreams, and aspirations, all to the tunes of an amazing soundtrack.

The talented Jessica Mauboy delivers beautifully, both acting and singing, performing in a breakout role as Julie, the most talented of the young vocalists. The first glimpse of what is to come reveals itself when the girls sing Yellow Bird, a traditional Jamaican folk song that has been covered by The Mills Brothers, Harry Belafonte, and was featured on The Brothers Four Greatest Hits album. Mauboy really shines in The Sapphires version of What a Man, an R&B classic that Linda Lyndell charted in 1968 for Stax Records and was later a smash hit for En Vogue and Salt-n-Pepa in 1993.

Chris O’Dowd is endearing in his role as Dave Lovelace, the band’s manager who first discovers the girls singing Merle Haggard's Today I Started Loving You Again and decides that if they are to have a chance in the music world, they need to perform soul music. The recognizable O’Dowd anchors the film with an easy comedic shimmer playing the outsider who also gets caught up in living the girls’ dream.

The Sapphires provides a glimpse into the culture of the Aussies just as Bend It Like Beckham did for that of the Brits.

Now available for rent, for those looking for an uplifting true story or just a fresh look at classic American music, The Sapphires will not disappoint.