Just as I thought I was getting too picky to wholeheartedly enjoy a movie, along came the Australian movie, The Sapphires. Set in 1968 and based on a true story, the movie is about the rise to fame of four Aborigine women who became Australia’s answer to The Supremes.
Deborah Mailman’s portrayal of sharp, ugly and intransigent Gail was a highlight. Under Gail’s brashness and brutal manner, her vulnerability was searingly close to the surface. Gail’s emergence is unexpectedly, and completely credibly, tender and beautiful.
The 1960s detail was gloriously cringe-worthy – white patent boots, fluoro shift dresses and camels’ eyelashes. The Tupperware party scene was perfection. Then there was the contrast – the war in Vietnam, not overstated, but shown with an unsentimental pathos that burned the soul.
It goes without saying that the singing in The Sapphires was heart-pumping and colourful.
Apparently I was not the only one mopping up surreptitious tears during the movie. And laugh – the one liners resonate well after the movie is finished. The scripting is clever, wonderfully witty and tight. Top marks to the writers Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson.
Take a quick look at the trailer by all means – but the best lines have been kept for the actual movie.