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
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
Sport
football
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Bruges
India & Nepal
Japan
Berlin, Dresden, Meissen & Colditz
Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker