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16 items from 2013


Film Review: ‘The Sapphires’ Don’t Fit Inside its 1960s Setting

29 March 2013 10:53 PM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – “The Sapphires” is inspired by a true story, about an Australian girl group who entertains the troops in 1968 Viet Nam. There is little feeling regarding the era the film is portraying, and it’s essentially used as a vehicle for period pop songs that have been heard before.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

The attempt to create some heat in the film is sincere, including the addition of comic actor Chris O’Dowd (the cop in “Bridesmaids), but the presentation is hampered by the obvious lack of experience in the actresses portraying the girl group and the budgetary limitations of recreating the 1960s, including Viet Nam. There is no big moment in the film that seems honest, it’s just a backstage story of group-comes-together, group-goes-through-trials and group-wows-the-naysayers. There is a barely explored subplot involving racism issues in 1960s Australian, and calculated romance, but none of those themes are enough to propel the film, »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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'The Sapphires' review: Deborah Mailman and Chris O'Dowd coat Aboriginal history in Motown soul

28 March 2013 6:52 AM, PDT | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

"The Sapphires" is an unpolished gem of a musical, a dramedy with a familiar '60s girl-group-on-the-rise story pasted over a backdrop of Australian racism and America's long war in Vietnam.

It's a tribute to the filmmakers (director Wayne Blair, working from a Tony Briggs and Keith Thompson script) that this confection often manages to connect the jaunty, sassy musical elements to the serious comment on Australian history.

A prologue captures a group of Aboriginal girls singing for family and friends in the Outback of the 1950s. This was an era when Australia routinely "stole" light-skinned aboriginal children to be raised in institutions and taught "white ways." So that quartet, when we next see them 10 years later, is only a trio.

Gail, given a sneering fierceness by Deborah Mailman of "Bran Nue Day" and "Rabbit-Proof Fence," plays guitar and bosses sister Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell) around. They're off to a town talent show, »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Interview: Director Wayne Blair, Jessica Mauboy of ‘The Sapphires’

25 March 2013 8:43 AM, PDT | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – In other countries and cultures, there are parallel moments going on that are interesting mirrors to U.S. history. In “The Sapphires,” a girl group from Australia entertains the troops in Viet Nam, with many of the same U.S. issues of war, peace and social discord. The film is directed by Wayne Blair and features Jessica Mauboy.

Based on a true story, the film reflects on the practice in Australia of the “stolen generation,” when lighter skinned native Aborigines were stolen from their darker skinned families and assimilated into the white society. This is a thread in “The Sapphires,” as a stolen cousin rejoins the singing group before they go into Viet Nam. The film co-stars Chris O’Dowd (the cop in “Bridesmaids”), who is the manager of the group, and falls in love with one of the singers.

Jessica Mauboy as Julie in ‘The Sapphires

Photo credit: »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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Wayne Blair and Deborah Mailman on taking 'The Sapphires' from stage to screen

22 March 2013 8:22 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

When translating a hit stage production to the screen, it seems only right to retain at least some of the talent that made it a success in the first place – and not merely as a good-luck token. That’s a logic that frequently escapes Hollywood, as any number of Broadway ensembles replaced wholesale by bigger names can tell you. When it came to Tony Briggs’s popular 2005 production “The Sapphires,” however, two cast members remained on board when the Australian musical comedy was translated to the big screen, though neither one in quite the same capacity. But while actress Deborah Mailman »

- Guy Lodge

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'The Sapphires' (2013) Movie Review

22 March 2013 11:00 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Outside of largely being a comedy with musical elements, The Sapphires does have a few things to say about race and the treatment of the "Stolen Generation" of Australia's Aborigines. But, for the most part, it's just a crowd-pleasing story of four young, talented Aborigine girls given the opportunity to sing for the troops in Vietnam under the guidance of their kind-hearted, soul-loving, lost-in-his-own-way manager played by Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids) who steals the show and proves necessary for it to succeed. Picked up by The Weinstein Co. in advance of this year's Cannes Film Festival, The Sapphires suddenly became something worth seeking out. Directed by first time feature helmer Wayne Blair and written by Keith Thompson and Tony Briggs, the latter of which is the son of one of the four women that inspired the story, this is a feel good movie through-and-through. It is a bit messy in its »

- Brad Brevet

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'The Sapphires' Filmmakers Say the Australian Musical Drama is "Nothing Like Dreamgirls"

21 March 2013 2:25 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

It's been over a decade since Tony Briggs first conceived The Sapphires based on stories told by his mother, an original member of the soul-singing quartet of Aboriginal women that entertained Vietnam troops in the 1960s. First developed as a 2005 stage play, then a feature film that screened at last year's Cannes Film Festival, The Sapphires will finally reach U.S. audiences this Friday March 22 when it opens in theaters. As the filmmakers are on a whirlwind tour promoting the release, I had a chance to chat briefly with Briggs and director Wayne Blair about making the movie, and what we can look forward to seeing. Jt: Tell me about how the project came »

- Jai Tiggett

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Writer Tony Briggs and Director Wayne Blair Talk to S&A About Making Australian Musical Drama 'The Sapphires'

21 March 2013 2:25 PM, PDT | ShadowAndAct | See recent ShadowAndAct news »

It's been over a decade since Tony Briggs first conceived The Sapphires based on stories told by his mother, an original member of the soul-singing quartet of Aboriginal women that entertained Vietnam troops in the 1960s. First developed as a 2005 stage play, then a feature film that screened at last year's Cannes Film Festival, The Sapphires will finally reach U.S. audiences this Friday March 22 when it opens in theaters. As the filmmakers are on a whirlwind tour promoting the release, I had a chance to chat briefly with Briggs and director Wayne Blair about making the movie, and what we can look forward to seeing. Jt: Tell me about how the project »

- Jai Tiggett

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Watch Chris O’Dowd give The Sapphires a lesson in soul music

14 March 2013 12:16 PM, PDT | Cineplex | See recent Cineplex news »

It’s all about soul in this clip from the upcoming musical comedy The Sapphires. In the film, adapted from a stage musical which was loosely based on the real life story of The Sapphires, an all-girl singing group made up of four Indigenous Australians in 1968.

When a talent scout, played by Bridesmaids’ scene-stealer Chris O’Dowd catches a country music performance by the girl group, he recognizes their true potential and takes them under his wing. With a flashy new name, a few lessons in soul music, and a make-over, the girls are headed to Vietnam to sing for troops during the Vietnam War. The original stage production was written by Tony Briggs, who based the play on his aunt and mother who travelled to Vietnam to sing for troops stations there. Briggs also co-wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation which features actress Deborah Mailman, Aussie pop singer Jessica Mauboy, »

- Rachel West

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The Sapphires adds movie clips and interview videos

10 March 2013 9:22 AM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Watch fresh clips from Weinstein Co's The Sapphires, and get feedback from star Chris O'Dowd and director Wayne Blair, as well as Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell and writer Tony Briggs. The music drama opens in theaters on March 22nd, and is inspired by a true story. Here's the synopsis: The Sapphires follows four vivacious, young and talented Australian Aboriginal girls from a remote mission as they learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group The Sapphires entertains the U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. Cynthia (Tapsell), Gail (Mailman), Julie (Mauboy) and Kay (Sebbens) are discovered by Dave (O’Dowd), a good-humored talent scout »

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The Sapphires adds movie clips and interview videos

10 March 2013 9:22 AM, PDT | Upcoming-Movies.com | See recent Upcoming-Movies.com news »

Watch fresh clips from Weinstein Co's The Sapphires, and get feedback from star Chris O'Dowd and director Wayne Blair, as well as Deborah Mailman, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell and writer Tony Briggs. The music drama opens in theaters on March 22nd, and is inspired by a true story. Here's the synopsis: The Sapphires follows four vivacious, young and talented Australian Aboriginal girls from a remote mission as they learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group The Sapphires entertains the U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. Cynthia (Tapsell), Gail (Mailman), Julie (Mauboy) and Kay (Sebbens) are discovered by Dave (O’Dowd), a good-humored talent scout »

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DVD Review: 'The Sapphires'

4 March 2013 3:13 AM, PST | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★☆☆ Inspired by writer Tony Briggs' mother and her days touring in a girl group, Wayne Blair's The Sapphires (2012) begins in rural Australia, 1968. A deeply ingrained racism is made apparent when two members of Aboriginal girl group, The Cummeraganja Songbirds, can't hail a taxi to a talent contest, before losing to a far inferior white performer. Their potential is only recognised by Irish Mc Dave Lovelace (Chris O'Dowd), whose appreciation of soul music and obvious admiration for the oldest member, 'Mama Bear' Gail (Deborah Mailman) leaves him mentoring the four-piece ahead of an audition to serenade the Us troops in Vietnam.

Read more » »

- CineVue UK

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Screen Aus grants development funding to 10 feature films

3 March 2013 3:44 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

Screen Australia has granted more than $276,000 in funding to support the development of 10 feature films, including projects by the co-writer of local smash The Sapphires and the team behind Wish You Were Here.

It is a small financial lifeline for the industry which is no longer receiving drama production investment from the national government agency after it spent its entire annual $42 million budget in just six months.

Among the new feature film projects to receive funding is comedy-drama The Grip, written by Tony Briggs (The Sapphires). It follows five young Australian businessmen who discover the secret to winning the pokies and develop Robin Hood-like reputations. David Field (The Combination) will direct.

Writer Felicity Price and director Kieran Darcy-Smith (Wish You Were Here) have also received funding to develop a new (as yet) untitled thriller. It follows social misfit Vincent, who holds a flame for 17-year-old Amber, but when his hopes are crushed he acts impulsively, »

- Brendan Swift

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The Sapphires DVD Review

26 February 2013 11:36 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

Director: Wayne Blair

Starring: Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell

Running Time: 103 minutes

Certificate: PG

Extras: Making Of, Character Profiles, Interview with the original Sapphires and Featurette: Shooting in Vietnam

The Sapphires follows a group of Koori women as they embark on a tour to entertain the troops in Vietnam. Looking at the highs and lows of life on a war-torn road, including fame, it also looks at how the group deal with love, hope, and racism in the late 1960s.

As a musical The Sapphires offers little originality, but the stories heart will please the feel good movie goer and film buff a like. Writer Tony Briggs has taken the story of his mother and aunt and created something that truly captures the soul of the era.

Proving his acting chops, Chris O’Dowd is great as Dave Lovelace, an alcoholic musician who »

- Lucy Cave

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DVD Review: The Sapphires

26 February 2013 1:01 AM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

The Sapphires

Stars: Chris O’Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Maulboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell, Tory Kittles | Written by Tony Briggs, Keith Thompson | Directed by Wayne Blair

Four aborigine women with a great talent for singing struggle during the turbulent era of the late 1960s when it comes to equal rights. Their own country won’t accept them for who they are but when an Irish talent scout, Dave (O’Dowd), stumbles upon them, he brings them to Vietnam to perform for the troops (without the matter of race preventing their success).

The stage show of The Sapphires is lovingly referred to in many sequences of the film adaptation. Blair’s direction is very theatrical – whether it is in framing, sets, or prop and character positioning – and completely befitting of this type of film. The story based on factual events is extraordinary and at times seems hard to believe; this is »

- Piers McCarthy

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The Sapphires sparkles at Aacta awards, takes home 11 gongs in total

30 January 2013 4:06 PM, PST | IF.com.au | See recent IF.com.au news »

It was a glorious evening for The Sapphires at the 2nd Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards Ceremony last night, with the feature film bagging six Aacta awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

The awards top off what has been a sparkling year for the Sapphires team, who have already won a host of international audience choice awards and enjoyed great box office success in Australia.

Other than Best Film and Best Director (Wayne Blair), the musical drama took home the Aacta award for Best Lead Actress (Deborah Mailman), Best Lead Actor (Chris O'Dowd), Best Supporting Actress (Jessica Mauboy) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Keith Thompson, Tony Briggs), bringing their Aacta award total to eleven. (The film picked up a further five awards at the Aacta luncheon held on Monday.)

The film also bagged the news.com.au Audience Choice Award for Most Memorable Screen Moment.

The »

- Emily Blatchford

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Clean Sweep For ‘The Sapphires’ At Australian Academy Awards

30 January 2013 1:15 AM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney Nominated for 12 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, The Sapphires won six gongs at a ceremony hosted by Russell Crowe in Sydney on Wednesday night. The musical drama about four Aboriginal girls who formed a singing group in the 1960s won best director (Wayne Blair), lead actress (Deborah Mailman), lead actor (Chris O’Dowd), supporting actress (Jessica Mauboy) and adapted screenplay (Keith Thompson, Tony Briggs). That’s in addition to five craft awards presented on Monday. The Weinstein Co. will release the film in the U.S. on March 22. Thriller Wish You Were Here took the Aacta original screenplay award for husband-and-wife creative team Kieran Darcy-Smith and Felicity Price, and supporting actor for Antony Starr. German actress Saskia Rosendahl received the best young actor trophy for Cate Shortland’s Lore, which was Australia’s entry for the foreign language Oscar. »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

16 items from 2013


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