Trust. A dead body in bracken. A cop cheats on his unhappy wife who, in secret, sees a psychiatrist whose own marriage is corroded by grief: she thinks her husband is having an affair with a gay patient of hers. The cop's lover, Jane, is recently separated, and her neighbors - a couple with children - include a muscular unemployed man. Late one night, the doctor skids off a back road, finds a call box, and tries in vain to reach her husband. She sees headlights and flags down the driver. Later that night, Jane sees her neighbor park his truck and throw something into the lantana in a vacant lot. It's a woman's shoe. Unraveling the mystery lays bare five couples. Written by
The first film to win all of the top six categories of the Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards: best picture, best director, best actress, best actor, best supporting actress, best supporting actor. It also won for best adapted screenplay. This record remained unbroken until all 13 AFI categories were swept by Somersault (2004). See more »
When Nik is at the police station explaining what happened the night he picked up Valerie, we see it as he is describing it - and as she gets into his truck, you can hear the door slam before it is even shut. See more »
[Leon has chest pains after having sex with Jane]
I get this pain in my chest sometimes.
You know, you really should have told me that you have a weak heart.
It's because I don't want to have an affair with...
For Christ's sake, I don't have a weak heart, all right? This is not an affair, it's a one-night stand that happened twice.
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Grateful acknowledgement of assistance to all our families See more »
A valuable, sensitive and brilliant Australian thriller.
What struck me the most about Lantana was not the well-laid plot, more the thoroughly realistic characters and performances. The classic 'mystery' thread was really only the setting for the several different relationships and couples featured in the film.
But having said that, the story itself was gutsy and twisting to keep you guessing till the end, all without the need for non-essential narrative or the need to keep spelling things out. The questions were all answered so far as the story was concerned, but because of the complexity and realism in all the principle characters, i still left the cinema rolling plenty of the emotional issues through my mind for hours after.
La Paglia was fantastic. His character, though shown as an adulterer from the very beginning, captured so many of the current male 'indentities' with great subtlety instead of a stereotyped 'hug session' which most recent films dealing with the subject matter inevitably lead to. He so easily showed the internal conflicts which most normal Australian men deal with day-to-day while still keeping up the brave face we all do.
I also enjoyed the quirky way the relatively small number of characters were all drawn together by fairly consequential links, and without a huge big statement of it in the end - no matter how many people there are on the planet, it still amazes me how small and incestual problem-circles end up becoming :)
This film has the potential to appeal to so many different audiences - works as a mystery, cop-drama, "chick flick", and to anyone who could ever relate to the 'feel' of Australia, which the film captures perfectly through great ambient audio and natural-looking lighting.
Well written, directed, photographed and cast give this one an easy full marks.
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