Lantana

2001

Drama / Mystery / Romance

11
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 18307

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 06, 2020 at 08:49 PM

Director

Cast

Manu Bennett as Steve
Barbara Hershey as Valerie
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
1.08 GB
1280*714
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
P/S 3 / 16
2.22 GB
1920*1072
English 5.1
R
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
P/S 4 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Movie-12 10 / 10

One of the year's most compelling character studies. **** (out of four)

LANTANA (2001) **** (out of four)

"Lantana" does not embody a story like most movies; it isn't about anything in particular. It's a movie about characters. Not larger-than-life super heroes, but characters who succumb to temptation, cheat on their wives, doubt their spouses, make mistakes and suffer consequences. In other words, "Lantana" is about real people. Normal, imperfect people like all of us. Not that everyone behaves like the characters here, but few films capture transgression with such compassion and sympathy.

Set in Australia, a colorful pallet of characters paints a vivid, coherent psychological portrait of infidelity, deceit, and estrangement. At the center of the film is four couples, immersed in guilt and depravity for different reasons. Everybody has something to hide. The conflicts of these people illuminate the personal crisis of a police detective (Anthony LaPaglia) as he investigates the disappearance of a local woman.

Apart from the investigation, the couples have little connection with each other. They do have one thing in common, however, that none of them communicates with their loved ones. "Lantana" proves communication enforces commitment, but a lack thereof results in disaster. This sincere, uncompromising picture places the lack of communication at the center of family problems.

The film won various Australian Film Awards for its performances, screenplay, and direction by Ray Lawrence. Lawrence clearly intended the title-referring to a tropical shrub with beautiful flowers that hide dense, thorny undergrowth-to represent the characters' private lives hidden behind an outward appearance. He's got the wrong metaphor. These characters do not appear sunny on the inside, outside, front or back. They don't wear masks or attempt to cover their frowning states of mind. They are unhappy people, and the movie never pretends otherwise.

Those qualities make the characters absorbing. Instead of providing them with outlets and opportunities to hide their faults, the film pokes, prods, and starves them of their happiness until they reach a breaking point. For some, the breaking point results in an explosion of anger. For others, it's subtle and personal. "Lantana" investigates real people who deal with real situations and encounter real consequences.

None of the characters are model citizens, yet we care deeply about each of them. When someone cries, we feel sorry for them. When someone begs for forgiveness, we try to forgive them. When someone questions their spouse, we are concerned with both sides of the marriage. These people make big mistakes; the results of their mistakes are never certain. The movie does not neatly pull things together at the end. It doesn't allow the characters an easy way out. These characters must dig themselves out of their problems.

"Lantana" is one of the most compelling, involving films of the year. It's based on a play called "Speaking in Tongues" by Andrew Bovell, who also wrote the fluid screenplay. I want to see this play. If these characters feel so alive, so real, so tormented on screen, think of their power in person.

Reviewed by DeeNine-2 10 / 10

Something close to a masterpiece

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!)

Reviewed by samelsby 8 / 10

Australian cinema, but not as we know it.

Most successful Australian films are quintessentially Australian. From Walkabout in 1970 via Peter Weir's pictures such as Picnic at Hanging Rock; The Last Wave and Gallipoli, right up to releases around Lantana such as The Tracker; Dirty Deeds; Rabbit-Proof Fence; Aussie Rules; The Dish and the Steve Irwin vehicle, The Crocodile Hunter Collision Course. Their appeal is partly based on an exploration of Australian culture or rather a contrast of cultures either within Australia or with the rest of the world. Like much of British Cinema, Australian Cinema has taken refuge in nationhood.

Lantana is different. Although it is set in present day Sydney it could, with the exception of the film's metaphorical title, be set in any Western urban conurbation. The film does not depend on either supposed Aussie character traits or well-known locations. Postcard Sydney is eschewed in favour of suburbia and mid-town. It is also bold as, although it contains a crime detection story, the film is primarily about an interwoven set of relationships gone wrong. The police investigation does not begin until halfway through the film, and this allows the relationships to be explored in detail before the more conventional narrative begins.

Leon (Anthony LaPaglia) is a morose police detective whose marriage to Sonja (the excellent Kerry Armstrong) is failing. His brief affair with Jane (Rachael Blake) in the opening sequence, is a symptom not a cause. Sonja confides her worries of the affair to Dr. Somers (Barbara Hershey), whose own relationship is soured by suspicion and tragedy. The only solid relationship is that of Jane's neighbours, whose domestic circumstances are the most difficult. This background unfolds in the first half of the film and the individual relationships are then laid over the plot allowing both an intertwining and explanation. The strength of the film is that as the characters have already been well realised, so their actions and emotions can be understood in the second half of the film. This is territory often reserved to a good novel, and is rarely brought off in the cinema and it is so well done here that a couple of narrative co-incidences can be forgiven.

The lantana is a large native Australian flowering plant, whose attractive and benign appearance conceals a thorny interior. The shrub is cleverly threaded into the plot and serves as a reminder that in relationships, things might not be all they seem and that care is needed to prevent hurt. In keeping with the film's realistic style there are no feel-good resolutions but the emotional intensity carries it to an ending of some hope rather than desolation.

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