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 (screenplay), Andrew Bovell (play)
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

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

love is the greatest mystery See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality | See all certifications »
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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: I tell my wife everything.
John Knox: That suprises me.
Leon Zat: Why?
John Knox: Most men hold something back.
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Crazy Credits

Grateful acknowledgement of assistance to all our families See more »

Connections

Referenced in On Location with 'The Irishman' (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Te Busco
(1993)
Written by Víctor Víctor
Courtesy of Flamboyan Publishing / Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Performed by Celia Cruz
Courtesy of Rmm Records & Video Corp.
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User Reviews

 
A valuable, sensitive and brilliant Australian thriller.
14 October 2001 | by blearyeyesSee all my reviews

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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Australia | Germany

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

8 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lantana See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$66,701, 16 December 2001

Gross USA:

$4,623,189

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,747,450
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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