Australian Perspectives ACMI presents


M Adult themes, low level coarse language, low level sex scenes Scroll to content

“LaPaglia gives one of his finest performances as the desperately unhappy cop, while Armstrong is agonizingly good as his betrayed wife”

Ray Lawrence (Bliss) returned to filmmaking after a 16 year absence with Lantana. Adapted from his own play, scriptwriter Andrew Bovell depicts a dozen characters who reflect a prism of early noughties Sydney.

One woman's death perhaps murder sparks a crisis in a series on interconnecting relationships. Leon is a policeman investigating the woman's disappearance, who's emotional stolidity is reflected in his violent dealings with clients; his aging wife Sonja seeks counseling for her desolate personal state; her therapist Valerie, struggling to cope with the death of her teenage daughter and the deterioration of her marriage to John, an emotionally remote academic; and Jane, a lonely and aimless woman who is estranged from her husband Pete and seeks sex with Leon.

Miscommunication and secret trysts (real and imagined) lead characters to draw false conclusions. Several red herrings increase the intensity of the murder mystery, but the real concern of the film is the kaleidoscope of human failings and interactions, reflecting a complex interweaving of intent and desire. Paul Kelly's score serves as an effective moody soundtrack to the film.

Winner of eight AFI awards.

Cinematography by Mandy Walker.

Cast includes Anthony La Paglia, Geoffrey Rush, Barbara Hershey, Kerry Armstrong, Rachael Blake, Vince Colosimo, Peter Phelps, Leah Purcell, Glenn Robins.