Ray Lawrence
Release Year:
Australia / Germany
Anthony La Paglia, Barbara Hershey, Geoffrey Rush
Screening Date:
  • 14 Sep 2010
  • Categories:
    Drama, Mystery, Romance

    Troubled marriage is central to this realistic and subtle prize-winning Australian mystery thriller: intelligent, involving and ingenious, this story of the intertwined lives of five couples is a dramatic start to the season.

    Film Notes

    This is an intelligent, ingenious, involving and beautifully acted movie. Ray Lawrence, an Australian commercials director, makes his return to mainstream cinema with this excellent film, part police procedural drama, part psychological thriller, part love story and a dark assertion of the part chance and co-incidence play in our lives. At its centre is Detective Leon Zat, a burnt-out case, a middle-aged cop in Sydney, bored with his marriage, giving vent to his frustrations by beating up culprits and having an affair with a woman he's met at a salsa class. His wife Sonja is drifting into depression and is being treated by a famous, glamorous therapist, Dr Valeria Somers, whose marriage to a law professor is drifting into despair. The hidden web of all these interconnected fraught lives comes to the surface when Dr. Somers goes missing. Anthony La Paglia gives a very humane performance as Zat, a man accelerating and worsening his mid-life crisis by trying to tough it out. Dr. Somers (Barbara Hersley) and her husband (Geoffrey Rush) give a magnificent portrait of an infernal minuet of tasteful marital despair. Alongside the dark themes and marvellously persuasive elements of humour and touching humanity. The coincidences of the film are audaciously choreographed in a highly effective stylised patterning, giving the film its distinctive flavour. This is a film for grown-ups- rarely are sexuality and fear portrayed as compellingly as this.
    Peter Bradshaw - The Guardian - 2002


    What you thought about Lantana

    Film Responses

    Excellent Good Average Poor Very Poor
    29 (43%) 31 (46%) 5 (7%) 3 (4%) 0 (0%)
    Total Number of Responses: 68
    Film Score (0-5): 4.26

    Collated Response Comments

    This intelligent, absorbing , dark, psychological thriller, was a highly effective start to the season for the great majority of the audience. You found it `gripping’, `intriguing’, `of great human depth’, `a compelling story’, `cleverly interwoven by co-incidence and complexity’, `a compassionate portrayal of flawed human beings’. Many of you enjoyed then intricate nature of the plot with `cleverly drawn relationships untangling gradually’ in a poignant and moving way, and the tangle of marital relationship caused by lack of communication. The tension in the film was high and `effectively maintained throughout by a series of excellent performances’. There was a pattern of praise in the responses for the acting and particularly for Antony la Paglia who portrayed Leon Zat and a number of references to the impact and appropriateness of the music. The narrative pace was an issue for some of you: `fast in places and tense with expectation yet slow and ponderous in others’. Those who were more critical of the film found it `entertaining, but a bit drawn-out’, `too slow’, `a rather heavy’ treatment of marital morality’ and that it `skimmed over the surface cracks’.

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