Sirens - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sirens Reviews

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½ March 31, 2017
Silly little movie about sexual tension and a woman who doesn't want to be a prude anymore. Doesn't work. The movie seems like a kid wrote it. Hugh Grant is embarrassingly terrible. I will never understand how he became famous.
March 22, 2017
As a popular Australian film with promises of talented acting and nudity, Sirens sounded like a solid experience.

When Reverend Anthony Campion and his wife Estella arrive at their train station and discover the conundrum of communicating with local Australians, audiences immediately get a taste for the humorous nature of the material they're in for. Unfortunately, it can prove misleading in the long run because the sporadic use of humourous Australian stereotypes plays second fiddle to the higher class British elements of the narrative. The latter dominates the film so heavily that it becomes easy to forget that the film is Australian, with the dialogue of the supporting characters being the only essential reminder of this factor. Nevertheless, Sirens is focused predominantly on its two British characters and their journey through an awakening in a different culture. It's a journey through a romanticized vision of Australia which enters fantasy territory frequently, offering an experience which may prove magical to some viewers while seeming indulgent to others. I found a middle ground between the two through appreciating the stylish nature of the film, but ultimately it was the lack of substance and originality which deters me from recommending Sirens.
Sirens ends up playing out as a literal cinematic interpretation of the meanings and messages intended by Norman Lindsay's actual paintings. It is a film which is pretty to look at and rather charming with its classical vibes while enticing with its nudity, but nothing actually happens. The actions of the characters reflect the symbolism in Norman Lindsay's works in that they are free spirited in nature and sexuality. But nothing actually happens in the story. I had no idea who Norman Lindsay was prior to seeing the film, and after seeing it all I know is that he was a man who painted naked women. The deeper elements of his character are forgone by a narrative which reduces him to an elusive supporting figure while the story struggles to establish who is more important out of the two British protagonists. With character development being inconsistent throughout a narrative in which nothing really happens, there is little compelling audiences to care about anything except the next moment in which characters will get naked. Though the is potential for Sirens to open up discussion about the changing social norms and their conflict with conservative ideals of religion and gender roles, this is an afterthought in a story which plays it all off in favour of a tongue-in-cheek approach. Any insight that audiences find in the film pertaining to its discussion of sexual awakening or contemporary social norms has already been covered before in superior narratives of greater insight. While Sirens' more lighthearted nature may allow audiences to absorb its ideals in an easy viewing experience, those in search of a genuinely thought provoking narrative need not apply. Sirens is short on narrative and slowly paced with only minor support from its stylish features.
Nevertheless, Sirens is certainty a beauty to look at. The scenery is remarkable and highlights some of Australia's most lush locations. Everything is always rich in colour and emphasized with a keen eye for detail, reinforced all the more by the exquisite production design and costumes. Sirens almost borders upon being a costume drama at times, though it lacks the melodramatic edge to be defined as one. Furthermore, the musical score is delightful because it has such a rich composition to it that the feeling is very classical yet it is also very lighthearted. This is one of the first things audiences will note when viewing Sirens, and it remains consistent in keeping the film atmospheric without being used too heavily.
Sirens is also worth commending for the way it uses nudity. The way that nudity is played off so artistically and naturally puts a positive vibe around the film's sexual awakening elements. Nudity is presented as a thing of beauty, much like the stunning scenery in the film. It is never explicit or exploitive, even when the cinematography occasionally takes on a voyeuristic perspective. Even though it is primarily women who appear nude in the film, women are still the main characters which highlights the importance of their role in the film beyond just being attractive to look at. It's certainly not developed to the depth that I would certify as innovative, but the good intentions are clear.
And there is also a lot of charm brought into Sirens on the backbone of a talented cast.
Hugh Grant offers a solid leading performance. Though I'm not one to be particularly fond of Hugh Grant, I found his role in Sirens to be a strong sign of his recognized appeal. Through the absence of thesis perceived pompous edge from films such as Bridget Jones' Diary (2001), he presents someone who struggled to understand Australian culture but doesn't remove himself from it. He gently engages with the ideals his character learns of as he discovers the world of Norman Lindsay, and his open-mindedness brings a welcoming likability to the character. Hugh Grant is a leading man with restrained charm whose talent overshadows the lack of general development in his character, and it makes Sirens more enjoyable.
Unfortunately, Tara Fitzgerald doesn't play that much of an interesting character. Despite coming from the same context as Hugh Grant's character, the majority of her genuine development is a one-dimensional "discovery" of her sexual identity where she remains resistant to the culture around her until essentially the last minute of the film. She puts up a dull shell for much of the film and displays too few emotions to be all that captivating, even though she is the central character for the film. Tara Fitzgerald isn't particularly bad in the role, but she doesn't have any distinctive charm to warrant making her the key character.
Sam Neill is certainly a good presence though. The presence of Norman Lindsay as a character in Sirens is fairly wasteful since he's a real-life iconic figure who is reduced to being an abstract one in Sirens, but Sam Neill has no problem capturing the sophisticated intelligence and wit of the man. He entices audiences with his genuine charisma, and you could expect nothing less from him.
Elle Macpherson and Kate Fischer play an enjoyable role in Sirens, particularly because they spend much of the film naked. And the presence of a younger Portia de Rossi and Ben Mendelsohn is nostalgic.

Sirens is an easygoing and stylish piece of cinema, but it's overtly slow pace and lack of originality or story development makes it less intellectually stimulating.
December 30, 2016
This is a fun romp with some very sexy ladies, every inch of them. Yum!
June 11, 2016
Good film, good story, a little pointless at times but generally uplifting
½ October 20, 2015
An old movie but a good one. I would recommend visiting Norman Lindsay house in the Blue Mountains, if you ever get a chance.
April 30, 2015
I kinda just wanted to check out the movie that was basically my pornography when I was 10 years old, last seen on a tiny portable black and white TV with utterly horrendous reception. I can't say exactly that it's held up (though I don't think I even appreciated back then how amazing Elle Macpherson's boobs were), but it does have its modest charms, most prominent of which is Portia's adorable performance. And at least Elle's only a bad actor; Kate Fischer commits the cardinal sin of also seeming uncomfortable with what she's doing.
½ February 21, 2015
An enjoyable, magical mix of comedy Australian wildlife cameos, Hugh Grant in his element playing a character rather out of his own, and with mythology and sensual temptation thrown in. Norman Lindsay's part is rather obviously underdeveloped though.
October 29, 2014
I am going to skip this one.
August 19, 2014
Wow, I'm so surprised that the audience rating is so low...! I saw "Sirens" at the Lumiere Theatres in San Francisco when it first came out back in '94. (Damn, I can't believe it was that long ago!) I'll never forget that particular evening: When I walked out of the cinema onto California Street, it was such a beautiful, starry night, and I swear I felt like I was floating out of that movie house...! "Sirens" left me on such an elated high!! What a beautiful, sophisticated and enriching experience it was. I must've seen this film a dozen times; however, it's been a good decade since I last viewed it. The acting by the entire cast was sheer joy! Naturally, the surprise had to be Elle Macpherson: Who'd've thunk??? I hope to revisit this one very soon.... It'll be interesting to see if 20 years have changed my point of view....
April 28, 2014
Written and directed by John Duigan, (The Leading Man (1996), Lawn Dogs (1997) and The Parole Officer (2001)), this comedy-drama is a film of the puritanical vs. the liberals, but all done in the Australian outback, where morals were looser, but all in the name of art. It has a very good cast to it's name, and it shows that just because a film has nudity in it, it doesn't automatically mean sex. Sometime in Australia in the 1930's, Anglican priest Tony Campion (Hugh Grant) comes from England to Sydney, and reports to the Bishop of Sydney (Vincent Ball) regarding some questionable paintings by controversial Australian artist Norman Lindsay (Sam Neill). Tony and his wife Estella (Tara Fitzgerald) travel to the Blue Mountains in New South Wales to express their concerns to Lindsay. But, when they get to his house, they're taken in by Lindsay and his family, including wife Rose (Pamela Rabe), and 3 models Sheela (Elle Macpherson), Pru (Kate Fischer) and Giddy (Portia de Rossi), all of whom manage to win over their visitors. It's a film about culture clashes, the old guard of the world, slowly crumbling by the liberal ways the 20th Century would entice people with. Duigan takes the real-life Lindsay, and paints a fictional scenario, which may or may not have happened in his life, but judging by this film, it may very well have happened
October 20, 2013
Don't have a clue what the actual message was but worth watching for Ella Fitzgerald's nude scenes.
½ October 20, 2013
Strange, Naughty, Erotic and Nude......... Yet, Appealing and interesting....
October 17, 2013
wow ummmn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch.....its nothing special 2 watch but its an enjoyable movie 2 watch......its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie......i think that hugh grant, tara fitzgerald, sam neill, elle macpherson, kate fischer, pamela rabe, julia stone, john poison, peter campbell, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.......i think that the director of this drama/art house/international/comedy movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect thorughout this movie......i think that this is a beautifully directed movie,.......it is nothing special 2 watch but its an entertaining movie 2 watch.......i think that hugh grant was good throughout this movie......i think that its quite a funny movie 2 watch in some scenes,......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie......i think that this is a really well acted/directed/written movie 2 watch its really funny in some scenes throughout this movie.....i think that this is an enjoyable movie 2 watch its got a good cast thorughout this movie......its got a good soundtrack throughout this movie.....i think that tara fitzgerald was good throughout this movie......i think that this is a really enjoyable movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie.....i think that this is a really powerful drama movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie.....i think that this is a really well acted movie 2 watch its got a good cast throughout this movie i think that this is an enjoyable 1990's movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie its so really well directed its funny in some scenes as well its such an enjoyable movie 2 watch
½ April 11, 2013
Okay, this movie is very watchable, but I will say it's very light on plot.

Let's call the film what it really is: a great way to get five very sexy women fully naked. Yep, I kid you not the film even ends with some crazy five naked full frontal women posing on the top of a mountain. And ladies, the one NON famous dude is pretty much hanging it out the whole time as well.

To call this an erotic flick is not far fetched. There is kind of a story of Tara Fitzgerald being a prude and this little visit to Sam Neill painting all these women naked every other scene opens her up. But that is basically the plot.

I will say it isn't in your face sex or anything, but it's like watching a nude painting for 90 minutes.

I will say that Portia De Rossi is very good here, playing the girl that is kind of afraid of going nude at first and wanting said naked guy. She really also has the only character development going on here.

And while Elle MacPherson isn't awful, she does always have this smirk on her face...

But who am I kidding. She was a huge favorite Supermodel of mine when I was growing up and wow...what a body. :)

The rating actually says rated R for ABUNDANT NUDITY...I have never seen that before and it made me laugh writing this!
½ April 10, 2013
Not really long on plot and not really funny-more just boring soft porn that wastes the talents of Sam Neill and Tara Fitzgerald while showing some beautiful scenes of Australia.
½ January 22, 2013
This is a movie that's just about bad acting and nudity!!!
December 30, 2012
Great movie, truly art house at its best. Sam Neil plays a great pan always the subtle instigator.
December 7, 2012
Could be worth a viewing, would like to see it sometime in the future.
½ August 1, 2012
Absolutely horrible! I am surprised that the critics like this film so much. Maybe it's the nudity? On the surface, it seemed like an interesting premise but within the first few minutes, you can tell that this going to be a cheaply made film trying to be something it isn't. Definitely worth a skip.
July 29, 2012
A film that's probably going to be known forever as The One Where Elle Shows Off Her Boobies than anything else. Not that remarkable otherwise.
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