A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Have you been watching the British comedy Moone Boy on PBS? One of the standout characters is Martin Moone’s imaginary friend Sean Murphy, played by Chris O’Dowd. If you have been watching and would like to see more of O’Dowd, try the 2012 Australian film The Sapphires, an entertaining musical look back at the 1960s.
The story line is that four talented aboriginal girls from a small town outside Melbourne form a singing group hoping for fame and fortune. O’Dowd plays Dave Lovelace, the promoter who discovers them and suggests that they switch from singing country songs to the Motown sound so they can tour American military bases in Vietnam. The premise may sound a little far-fetched, but the story is inspired by a true story. Of course, the film producers do not actually tell the true story, changing many of the most important details, but they do capture the sound and look of the time.
The most serious scenes are those in the Australian outback, where we see how Australian whites discriminate against aborigines, even taking away light-skinned children to raise as whites. The funniest scenes are those in which the girls learn to sing with soul under O’Dowd’s direction. Though touted as a comedy, The Sapphires proves to be mostly a drama after the girls reach Vietnam. Still, O’Dowd is always there to lighten the mood.
You can find The Sapphires in our DVD collection. Enjoy. – Review by Rick