Monday Night Movies
Stratford Cinemas, 7 pm, box office opens at 6:30 pm
$9 Public, $8 Gallery Members
Through a partnership with tiff, Gallery Stratford offers a special selection of films on the third Monday of every month from September to May at the Stratford Cinemas. The film series allows the audience unique access to view Canadian and international films in limited distribution.
May 13: The Sapphires
Set at the height of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement and brimming with Motown hits, this portrait of a late 1960s girl group — Australia's answer to The Supremes — is a celebration of great music and triumph in the face of adversity. Based on the hit stage play by Tony Briggs, whose mother and three aunts formed the real-life singing quartet, The Sapphires is an effervescent, irresistible crowd-pleaser, with plenty of spunk and sass to go along with its fully earned sentiment.
The Sapphires are four young Koori girls — Gail (Deborah Mailman), Julie (Jessica Mauboy), Kay (Shari Sebbens) and Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) — who are discovered one night in a dusty outback tavern by lanky, often soused Irish-born talent scout Dave (Chris O'Dowd). With a sharp ear for honey-tinged voices, Dave convinces the girls to switch their act from country and western to rhythm and blues. While the racist locals vehemently reject the notion of a group of Aboriginal entertainers, Dave vows to make The Sapphires shine — not just in town, not just in the region, not just in the country, but all over the world. And against all odds, he pulls it off: the Sapphires' first gig takes them to war-torn Southeast Asia, where they entertain the troops with tunes by Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding and Linda Lyndell.
Fresh off his winning turn in Bridesmaids, the affable O'Dowd is so endearing as Dave that he would nearly steal the show — if it weren't for the sparkling presence and irrepressible charm of his co-stars. Australian Idol alumnus Mauboy is especially magnetic as the group's sexy and bold lead vocalist, but all of The Sapphires sparkle in their own distinct ways. Their sweet voices will send you into a joyful swoon, while their stories and struggles will touch your heart. The Sapphires is a gem of a film — and be sure to stay for the closing credits for some final fun surprises.
Director: Wayne Blair
Cast: Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell
Screenplay: Tony Briggs, Keith Thompson
Runtime: 99 minutes
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