Hey baby, are you lonesome tonight?

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED

It's that boy again - as sour de Sade

Cinema

Nautical language ... who's so vain? ... and furry bikinis

CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT

Edinburgh Festival / Final Day: Reviews

THROUGH DANCE COLOURED GLASSES

SHOW PEOPLE / Dead good, in a quiet way: John Hannah

EVERYONE LOVED Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Hehas since flopped his fringe on to the world's magazine covers, and flown off into the jet set. Everyone loved John Hannah in Four Weddings and a Funeral. He gave one interview, to an Australian gay magazine, and used the money he earned to buy a secondhand car and a set of golf clubs.

Box office record

FOUR Weddings and a Funeral, released in May and starring Hugh Grant, is the first British film to break the pounds 20m barrier at the UK box office.

CINEMA / Hugh Grant: the embarrassment goes on

EARTHINESS is all in John Duigan's Sirens (15), a hymn to horny hands and minds. Its hero (Sam Neill) is the Australian artist Norman Lindsay (1879-1969), whose paintings satirising religion and glorifying female flesh were denounced in their day as blasphemous. The film takes place in the early 1930s at Lindsay's lush estate in the Blue Mountains, near Sydney. An English clergyman (Hugh Grant), with wife (Tara Fitzgerald) in tow, has arrived to negotiate with Lindsay on behalf of a gallery which is chary of exhibiting him. The values of Lindsay and his menage of models are pitted against those of the English: sensuality v repression, rawness v refinement, sex v sentimentality. The unbridled wild wins out every time (though the suggestiveness is never even softly pornographic). Hardly a scene passes without some bush creature scuttling across the screen, rendering the English couple's gait still stiffer. The odds haven't been so stacked in favour of the Aussies since the last Ashes series.

What's more

Working Title, the producers of Four Weddings and a Funeral (dollars 80m and counting) are throwing a party. The invitations read: RSVP - just say 'I do'. On the back comes the instruction: Dress: Elizabeth Hurley . . .

FILM / Something for the weekend?: Nudity, scandal and Hugh Grant. Could 'Sirens' be the film to make John Duigan a household name? Anthony Quinn reports

AS A recipe for a summer sizzler it's just about unbeatable: the Most Famous Man in England (Hugh Grant), Antipodean supermodel du jour (Elle MacPherson) and more nudity than a Pre-Raphaelite slumber party without the pyjamas. Put them together and you have Sirens, a tremulously witty examination of unbuttoned sensuality in Australia's Blue Mountains. Or is it? Inevitably, with this much naked flesh on display, some will turn up expecting something unbuttoned in the blue movie line, but there's not much director John Duigan can do about that: 'It's a hard film to classify,' he says. 'I suppose you could call it a romantic comedy . . . it certainly isn't a skinflick. If somebody goes in simply to relax in their raincoat then they'll get a rude shock.'

Captain Moonlight: A word in your shell-like

NO, NO, look again, of course you recognise it: it's Hugh Grant's left ear, the Captain's contribution to the publicity campaign for Four Weddings and a Funeral, the British film that has shocked us rigid by actually being quite good. On my latest count, Grant had appeared in 107 features and items in the national press, and 450 features and items in the regional press. He had given 25 national press interviews, and 40 regional press interviews; eight national radio interviews and three regional radio interviews; a syndicated radio interview has been heard on 60 stations. There had also been 17 national television interviews and four regional television interviews. 'He has been so supportive,' said Stacy Wood, vice-president of DDA, the film's publicists. Thanks, Hugh. And he's got another film coming out next month.

FILM / A marriage made in heaven: Four Weddings and a Funeral (15); Blink (18); A Dangerous Woman (15); My New Gun (15); The Puppetmaster (15)

THE LAST joke in Mike Newell's Four Weddings and a Funeral (15) is climatic, as well as climactic. The happy ending takes place in a storm, the characters' hearts opening with the clouds. It's ironic since this is the sunniest of films, bathed in golden rays of good humour. It would sooner dress a bride in black than lend a dark hue to a joke or sound a note of satire. Its beau monde is ripe for the sort of broadside Robert Altman launched in his sour, rather dreary A Wedding. But Richard Curtis's screenplay is a celebration, and the film's success is that we end up celebrating with it. The movie itself resembles a wedding - put on with such style and good cheer, that it would be churlish not to enjoy oneself. Our laughter is slightly indulgent, as it would be for a best man's speech.

FILM / Reviews: Something old, something new: Sheila Johnston on Four Weddings and a Funeral, the Britcom that had America rolling down the aisles; plus round-up

Overhyped and over-praised over there? Four Weddings and a Funeral (15) opens here garlanded with praise from America, and it has been going great guns for a low-budget British picture. The production team has conjured up impressive quantities of flowers on straitened means (US critics single out the hats for special distinction) and, while the film is simply shot - lots of tight close-ups - the director, Mike Newell, also makes a virtue out of the necessity: the first wedding, at which the leading players are introduced, is filmed as a series of loosely connected brief impressions and pratfalls, a little like a high-class clip from You've Been Framed. Most of all, it is a diverting, crowd-pleasing romantic comedy, and, as last year's thin track record in this department shows, this is not an achievement to sniff at.

Letter: Tom and Viv

Sir: I do not know if Michael Hastings or Lyndall Gordon are intent in driving me out of the cupboard to satisfy their curiosity as to whether Maurice Haigh-Wood did, or did not, commit his sister to a mental institution or whether there was a conspiracy with Tom Eliot to do so, but I feel impelled to respond to your articles 'Film turns the spotlight on a poet's darker side' and 'Hijack of the Great Poet' (18 August).

FILM / Breakfast at Polanski's

THEY have been wandering round Paris all night. They watched the dawn at Notre Dame. Now they're at his place, for the first time.
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Sport
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas