MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -3

An Australian artist of the early 1930's, Norman Lindsay (Sam Neill), has created an international scandal. His paintings of voluptuous nudes are shocking enough, but a blasphemous portrait of a nude woman crucifix in an exhibit about to open in England is too much. The Church of England sends one of their young ministers, Tony Campion with his wife, Estella (Hugh Grant and Tara Fitzgerald), to convince the bohemian to omit the offensive painting. What Tony and Estella discover when they journey to Australia is an almost Garden of Eden setting where Lindsay lives with his wife, two young daughters and an assortment of models. The beautiful models, or "sirens," spend most of their time modeling sans clothing, totally unselfconscious. They take great delight in making the very proper English clergyman and his mortified wife uncomfortable. Gradually Estella overcomes her inhibitions, becomes friends with the models and gives in to her physical attraction to a blind male model who struts around flexing his muscles with absolutely nothing on. SIRENS' off-the-wall characters and humor will appeal more to readers of "Playboy" and "Penthouse" magazines than to "Preview" subscribers.

The nudity in this film is almost non-stop. Many of the nude scenes have nothing to do with sex; they are the models posing or swimming in the pond. The nudity that titillates revolves around Estella spying on the nude male sunbathing and her eventual implied sexual encounter with him, which includes some very graphic fondling. That incident unleashes her pent up emotions and makes her realize what is missing in her relationship with Tony. One scene of sexual intercourse between her and Tony is awkward, clumsy and under the covers. The two older sirens take great pains to prepare the youngest model to get in touch with her sensuality. Lindsay and Tony engage in intellectual discussions on atheism versus Christianity. Lindsay's image is that of a secure, fulfilled and almost smug family man and artist. In contrast, Tony's self-confidence weakens as he realizes that Estella is not very happy. Instead of the Christian couple changing the non-believers, the non-believers motivate the Christians to re-examine their own relationship. Though SIRENS has very little offensive language and no violence, it constantly pokes fun at religion and traditional values.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., Ste. 1601, NY, NY 10017

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times - Mild 2; Moderate 1 (British expletive)

Obscene Language: Several (5) times (f-word 4; other 1)

Profanity: Few (3) times - Exclamatory

Violence: None

Sex: Once (husband and wife); implied once with graphic fondling and breast nudity

Nudity: Incessant (full frontal male and female)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (references to genitals, intercourse; models play strip poker with cowboys; discussions of sexual fantasies; groping under the table)

Drugs: Few times (wine with dinner; beer drinking)

Other: Atheistic lifestyle positively portrayed

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Undiscriminating adults

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