Judd Apatow is back in the directing chair after working as a producer on most of America’s comedy output: Anchorman, The Five Year Engagement, Wanderlust, Get Him To The Greek, Superbad– the list is impressive. However, while Apatow has shepherded a lot of quality comedy talent in those films, his own directing and writing efforts (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) have received mixed feedback. In This is 40, he casts his own wife and kids as a family reaching a crisis point as the couple turn 40, in a plot that seems to imitate his own life. Sticking a little too close to home here proves to be the film’s downfall as laughs are few and far between.
Set in 1968, The Sapphires tells the story of four aboriginal girls who are plucked from the outback and perform a whirlwind tour for troops across Vietnam. Chris O’Dowd anchors much of the fun, but things get a little slippery when the film’s feel-good factor is forced to come to terms with the social, racial and political climate of the time.