On Tuesday night (Oct. 16), I headed along to the Savoy cinema for the Irish premiere of Chris O’Dowd’s latest movie, The Sapphires. The man himself was in attendance and appeared on the appropriately-hued blue carpet alongside his gorgeous wife, TV presenter Dawn Porter.
Joining O’Dowd for the Irish premiere were his co-stars in the movie, Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell and Shari Shebbens. Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman also made an appearance and Mauboy treated the waiting public to a selection of songs from the film’s soundtrack and O’Dowd joined in for some suspicious singing and good-humoured finger clicking.
The Sapphires, which is a true story and set in 1968, tells the story of how four Aboriginal girls overcame the prejudices held against them and seized the opportunity to perform for the troops fighting in Vietnam.
At a local singing competition, the talent of three sisters, Gail, Julie and Cynthia is recognised by Dave (O’Dowd) and after recruiting their reluctant cousin Kay; they subsequently form a band called The Sapphires, which O’Dowd manages.
As Australia’s answer to The Supremes, the girls’ first gig is to entertain the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War and each sister’s personal journey is told beautifully and poignantly in this wonderful film.
O’Dowd shines as the cheeky Irish chancer with a heart, but Miranda Tapsell, who plays the part of Cynthia, steals the show with her humorous and blindingly positive outlook on life, despite being in the middle of a warzone. One particular profanity-ridden line had the theatre in convulsions last night, as her hilarity punctuates the film and serves as a nice counterbalance to The Sapphires’ more tender and emotionally evocative moments.
O’Dowd described the movie as “similar to The Commitments in that there is singing in it”, but explained that “it’s not as funny, and deliberately so. There is much darker stuff going on.”
The Sapphires is released on 7th November and it’s a definite must-see!