"Sirens" is a drama set in circa 1930 Australia. Hugh Grant
plays a minister given the task of stopping an eccentric painter
(Sam Neill) from showing a blasphemous painting. Along with
his beautiful but inhibited wife Tara Fitzgerald, he visits Neill's
estate. While Grant argues for the painting's removal, Fitzgerald
becomes involved with Neill's stable of models, which include
smug Elle MacPherson, wicked Kate Fischer, waifish Portia De Rossi
and blind mute Adonis Merk Gerber.
Neill is asexual in all areas except painting. But all
his paintings feature nudes, especially nude women. "Sirens"
has a great deal of frontal nudity. (If you have always wanted
to see MacPherson's body beyond what the Sports Illustrated
swimsuit issue shows, this is your opportunity.) The models
are not content merely to bare all for Neill, and their
eroticism leads to lesbian imagery, and (especially) fantasies
with buff Gerber. Predictably, the reserved Fitzgerald becomes
caught up in their sensual world. Surprisingly, Grant isn't
too disturbed by this, perhaps because he consideres himself
Assumedly, Neill's character has inherited a large fortune.
Otherwise, it is difficult to believe he can afford his lifestyle.
He lives in a fantastic estate with woods, cliffs, and lakes,
and has at least eight dependents including himself.
The liberal attitude of the estate extends to the raising
of Neill's twin toddler daughters. They have the run of the
house, and no notice is taken of their perpetually rude comments.
"Sirens" manages to be a marginally good film despite its
many problems. The story lags at times, De Rossi's innocent
character isn't completely credible, and plot turns are
both predictable and unlikely (a train derailment strands
Grant and Fitzgerald at the Neill estate, and prim Fitzgerald
becomes involved with the decadent models). Still, production
values and casting helps, and there's plenty of eroticism
served up to maintain interest.
Copyright © 1994 Brian Koller