The Sapphires

Rated PG-13 103 minutes 2012

Aboriginal sisters form a girl group and tour Vietnam in this genial, entertaining, cliché-ridden showbiz story from Australia. After hearing the girls sing in a talent show near the Cummeragunja Reserve, a low-rent white musician (Chris O'Dowd of Bridesmaids) offers to manage them if they'll drop their country-western repertoire for soul music; they recruit a cousin to join them, and there's the usual ego-driven jostling for the lead singer spot and impromptu naming of the band from an object spotted at the audition. Once director Wayne Blair gets them all to Vietnam, comedy gives way to drama, most of it overplayed, though there's a nice romance for one of the women in the act (Deborah Mailman in a memorable performance). When the end credits, inevitably, include photos of the real women on whom this is loosely based, they turn out to be much more attractive than the actors playing them, which must be some kind of first.

Film Credits

Director: Wayne Blair

Producer: Rosemary Blight, Kylie de Fresne, Ben Grant, Tristan Whalley, Lee Kie, John Sim, Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein

Cast: Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell, Tory Kittles, Eka Darville, Lynette Narkle, Kylie Belling, Gregory Fryer, Don Battee and TJ Power

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