The Vernon Film Society’s next film, The Sapphires, is a wildly entertaining musical comedy in the tradition of Strictly Ballroom.
Based on the smash Australian 2004 play by Tony Briggs, The Sapphires was inspired by the true story of Briggs’ mother and aunt, who sang in an all-Aboriginal female soul quartet that entertained American troops during the Vietnam War.
Set in 1968, the story begins with the two sisters (Deborah Mailman and Jessica Mauboy) and a friend entering a talent competition in an outback pub, where their rendition of a Merle Haggard classic outclasses the tone-deaf competition, but fails to win over the racist judges.
One audience member is impressed, however, and he turns out to be David Lovelace (Chris O’Dowd), a music promoter with an ear for raw talent. He convinces the girls to switch to soul music and promises to make them stars.
Recruiting their long-lost cousin for a fourth member, the girls sing their way from the Australian outback to Southeast Asia and a tour of war-torn Vietnam.
Filled with show-stopping renditions of classic Motown hits that showcase the wonderful voice of Jessica Mauboy (an Australian Idol alumnus), the debut feature by director Wayne Blair mixes drama with humour.
Accompanied by period backgrounds and gorgeous cinematography, The Sapphires will have you singing out loud as you leave the theatre.
The Sapphires will be shown at the Towne Cinema Monday at 5:15 and 7:45 p.m. Tickets are available at the door and one week ahead at the theatre and the Bean Scene for $7.