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ON DISC
The relationships of four couples unravel after the discovery of a young woman's body in Lantana bush in suburban Sydney.

Director:

Ray Lawrence

Writers:

Andrew Bovell (play), Andrew Bovell (screenplay)
36 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony LaPaglia ... Leon
Rachael Blake ... Jane
Kerry Armstrong ... Sonja
Manu Bennett ... Steve (as Jon Bennett)
Melissa Martinez Melissa Martinez ... Lisa
Owen McKenna Owen McKenna ... Old Man in Pyjamas
Nicholas Cooper Nicholas Cooper ... Sam
Marc Dwyer Marc Dwyer ... Dylan
Puven Pather Puven Pather ... Drug Dealer
Lionel Tozer ... Police Officer
Glenn Suter ... Police Officer
Leah Purcell ... Claudia
Barbara Hershey ... Valerie
Natasha Guthrie Natasha Guthrie ... Young Girl
James Cullington James Cullington ... Man at Book Launch
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes love isn't enough See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Australia | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Лантана See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

AUD 430,696 (Australia), 6 October 2001

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,701, 16 December 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,460,426, 21 April 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Leon Zat: [Leon has chest pains after having sex with Jane] I get this pain in my chest sometimes.
Jane O'May: You know, you really should have told me that you have a weak heart.
Leon Zat: I don't.
Jane O'May: It's because I don't want to have an affair with...
Leon Zat: 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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Crazy Credits

Grateful acknowledgement of assistance to all our families See more »

Connections

Referenced in High Chaparall: Robert Englund (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Que Sabes Tu De Amor
(2000)
Written by Hiran Calvo
Performed by Juancyto Martinez
Courtesy of Juancyto Martinez
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Something close to a masterpiece
8 May 2003 | by Dennis LittrellSee all my reviews

In this starkly realistic examination of love and infidelity among the thirtysomething crowd from down under we learn that you may desire to cheat on your spouse, but it's better if you don't.

Leon Zat, a police detective played with an original and striking demeanor by Anthony LaPaglia, cheats on his wife and finds that his adultery compromises not only his marriage but his performance on the job. He becomes irritable and flies off the handle at things of little importance, and becomes consumed with guilt.

He is not alone. The marriage of John Knox (Geoffrey Rush) and psychiatrist Valerie Somers (Barbara Hershey) is falling apart as Knox seeks something from the outside and Somers is torn apart with the suspicion that he is having a homosexual affair, perhaps with one of her clients. Meanwhile Jane O'May (Zat's adulteress played by Rachael Blake) finds that she needs a man, or maybe two, other than her estranged husband. Even Sonja Zat (Kerry Armstrong) feels the pressure and yearns to feel attractive, perhaps with younger men.

More than halfway through we have an apparent murder and an investigation during the course of which some of the adulteries come to light and cause the participants to examine themselves and their lives closely.

Andrew Dovell wrote the subtle, richly attired script, full of penetrating dialogue and an uncompromising veracity, adapting it from his play Speaking in Tongues. Ray Lawrence directed in an unusual but compelling manner in which the scenes are sharply focused and cut to linger in our minds. Again and again I was startled with just how exactly right was something a character said or did. Lawrence's exacting attention to detail gives the film a textured and deeply layered feel so that one has the sense of real life fully lived. The cast is uniformly excellent although LaPaglia stands out because of his most demanding role. His performance is one of the best I have seen in recent years. The only weakness in the film is a somewhat lethargic start, partially caused by Lawrence's cinéma vérité scene construction and editing. What he likes to do is lead us to a realization along with the characters and then punctuate the experience by lingering on the scene, or in other cases by cutting quickly away. Often what other directors might show, he leaves to our imagination, and at other times he shows something seemingly trivial which nonetheless stays in our mind. John Knox's affair, for example, is not shown. Jane O'May and her husband's reconciliation is left to our mind's eye. Yet the scene with Valerie Somers in the lighted telephone booth (with graffiti) is shown at length and then what happens next is not. These are interesting directorial choices.

The ending comes upon us, as it sometimes should, unexpectedly, but then resonates so that we can see and feel the resolution. Not everything is tied up. Again we are left in some cases to use our own imagination.

This original film, one of the best of the new millennium I have seen, stayed with me long after they ran the closing credits. It is well worth the two hours.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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