Far better than expected. Strong performances all around. Real people with real problems with real flaws trying to find love rejecting love realizing it was never there and picking up the pieces or trying to at any rate. You hope for the best but expect the worst as the screen fades to black.
"The problem with many movie mysteries is that they inspire you to think more than to feel. Lantana, in contrast, is more intent on engaging the heart as it explores the mysteries contained within -- mysteries that, as Lawrence and his spot-on cast demonstrate, are far more compelling than simple murder." - Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune
Lantana is a watered down version of tom white. This film introduces grief in the most horrific way. The film starts off with the discovering of limbs from a dead body. Discovering the identity of the dead body is the base of the film and in the process, revealing relationships between characters eventually makes more sense at the end of the film. This film has a lot of anger built within revenge is the plot.
Great performances from the entire cast almost rescue a story which depends way too much on coincidences and other plot twists which strain belief. Still there's an emotional honesty to most of these lost, unhappy people which can't be denied, no matter what absurd action the screenplay foists on them.
Tightly drawn thriller where every set up has a payoff, almost to an exhausting degree. If you can get past the coincidence and happenstance, it's a very rewarding story revolving around people who close themselves off from feeling. And how doing so wrecks their relationships.
Takes a while to get going as it weaves all of its various strands of characters. But once it does get going, it really packs a powerful punch. It delves into the emotions of love, trust, betrayal and also into marriage, fidelity and family. Not perfect (the characters seem TOO tied together at times and the aforementioned slow start), but still, it does rise above its imperfections and delivers an emotional wallop.
A thoughtful meditation on the oft-evaded gray areas in relationships. Two male leads dodge their wives' pleas for emotional connection. Anthony Lapaglia is great however obnoxious his self-loathing violent streak is to witness. Geoffrey Rush is underutilized, but still chillingly emotionally shut off, and cruel, to his wife (played with sharp perfection by Barbara Hershey). It's well-paced despite being two hours.
2.5 Most of the characters are overwrought, gloomy, and uninteresting to me, with the exception of the nurse and her husband. Their family dynamic is fresh, bohemian, honest, and unusual in that they model an enlightened version of roles for men & women in relationships. The scene where he asks to speak with his wife is heartbreaking.I liked the twist to the mystery solution. It's meta.
You think with something like a mystery there would be cops looking for answers. Well this film is every thing but, it takes almost the whole film for the actual mystery to began, until than you are watching nothing but peoples affairs and personal problems. The only good thing about this film is that it starts Geoffrey Rush, other than that, there are bad mystery films and then there is lantana.
Bourgeois grief and its attendant paranoia, confusion, and misdirection. No murder at all, except the therapist's daughter, outside the film proper but a parallel media sensation in book form. And we as audience carry a "suspicion" with us from nearly beginning to end... The extraordinary head-on collision followed by weeping into the arms of a stranger.
This though provoking suspense was a classic as it had me on my toes at every minute. Although the film is a little outdated, the story line was captivating and ingeniously intricate. As the film developed the suspense continuously grows leaving the viewer invested and a feeling of anxiousness almost. The acting, directing, and cinematography was superb furthermore supporting the genius story line.
Australia's prime contribution to the 'everyone is connected' genre is a locally lauded but fairly forgotten drama. The cast is excellent, the start is solid and it's generally free of the cringe that plagues our drama's which take themselves too seriously. The resolution is a little unsatisfying given the sympathy we're supposed to extend to a man like LaPalgia who still hasn't escaped his numbness in cinema.