- 1 hr 35 min
The movie Sirens was an Australian and English co-production written and directed by the Australian filmmaker John Duigan. Sirens stars Hugh Grant, the English actor most famous for comedy roles, such as Four Weddings and a Funeral and the Bridget Jones movies; Grant plays an Anglican priest given the responsibility of travelling to the Australian outback to halt the display of a painting deemed blasphemous by the Church. Despite the film including both Grant and Australian character actor Sam Neill the focus of the film often remains on the wife, Estella of Grant's Anglican priest, Tony. Estella's world is shaken by the couple's journey into the Australian outback as she discovers their is a sensual side to relationships that, despite her love for Tony she has not shared with him. As Tony and the artist based on Norman Lindsay, one of Australia's most famous artists discuss the merits of art Estella spends time with the artists models, one of whom is played by Australian model Elle Macpherson. Estella remains on the sidelines for the majority of the film as the models flirt with the people they come into contact with and flaunt their bodies; Estella arrives in Australia the embodiment of Edwardian England as she remains prim and proper in her clothing despite the heat of Australia. Other notable appearances in the film include the screen debut of Portia de Rossi, who would later appear in Ally McBeal on U.S. television. De Rossi plays a maid who is slowly being turned into a model for the artist and sets out on a journey to maturity that mirrors that of Estella. The pivotal role of Estella is played by Tara Fitzgerald, who was often seen in independent films from the U.K. and Australia during the 1990s and beyond, including Brassed Off. The 95 minute movie added to the fame found by Hugh Grant around the world as it was released in the same year as his biggest hit Four Weddings and a Funeral. Sirens itself was received with mixed reviews upon its release with the photography and acting praised and the plot often derided as weak and under developed.