The intertwined stories of a loosely tied set of mostly emotionally damaged individuals in Sydney are told. Police detective Leon Zat and his wife Sonja Zat probably still love each other but have not stated to each other the problems that have invaded their marriage. Those problems not only affect their relationship, but also the way they parent their two teenage sons. Leon's single partner, Detective Claudia Weis, can probably most clearly see those problems, but is not equipped to be a good informal counselor to him in she considering the eye contact with another regular at the diner she frequents as being a somewhat committed relationship. A bundle of repressed emotions, Leon vents through mostly inappropriate acts of aggression, and having just embarked in an extramarital affair with Jane O'May, the recently separated woman in the same salsa dance class as him and Sonja. Jane initiated that separation from her husband, Pete O'May, in coming to the realization one day that she no ...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 »
Written by Víctor Víctor
Courtesy of Flamboyan Publishing / Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Performed by Celia Cruz
Courtesy of Rmm Records & Video Corp. 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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