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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 37.08%
Just Average: 11.24%
Pretty Crappy: 4.49%
Sucks: 4.49%

6 reviews, 53 user ratings

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by Spinner

"An Australian film that surpasses all others of late."
4 stars

Lantana is one of the best Australian films for a long time. It's complex, mature, engaging and intelligent, and it works on many different levels. A welcome relief from the quirky non-sense films that have plagued the Australian film industry for the last five years.

First and foremost Lantana is a film about people. Very human everyday people faced with very real tangible problems. Secondly Lantana is about relationships. Relationships between these people and the problems that engulf and entangle them.

Lantana is a noxious weed that grows out of control. It's thick and vigorous, concealing and irrepressible. It's an apt metaphor for infidelities, loss, unhappiness and a suitable hiding place for a body.

Masculinity in its many guises and disguises is at the driving heart of the film. It explores the stereotypes around men and manhood and mens' relationships with women, marriage, work and their own sense of self worth.

This material is absolutely engaging and presented in a very honest way as stories weave and interweave and the plot unfolds, providing a wonderful vehicle for established Australian and International actors. The casting is generally faultless, the performances measured and candid. Anthony La Paglia delivers a stunning, emotionally rich and convincing performance as a man who has lost touch with himself and his wife. Kerry Armstrong is magnetic. Rachel Blake and Barbara Hershey are solid. Vince Colosimo has greath depth and onscreen presence.

Somewhat less able are Peter Phelps as a bitter gay man undergoing counselling - (an unfortunately predicatable approach to character) and Glenn Robbins as a spurned husband. The biggest surprise in Lantana is a damp, half-hearted performance from Geoffrey Rush.

If Lantana is in any way compromised it is by some very obvious continuity issues (water on externals of car windows when shot from inside, but none when shot from outside) and 'one coincidence too many', for the story relies upon many characters having tenuous, incidental or established connections and some of these are forced. If one can accept this small contrivance a la Altman style films, then the body of the film, its theme and atmosphere, its sheer quality makes it a very polished and rewarding viewing experience.

The reason Lantana took home virtually every major award at the most recent Australian Film Industry (AFI) Awards is because it is not only the best Australian film of the year. It is probably the best Australian film in many, many years.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=5563&reviewer=288
originally posted: 02/24/02 06:16:02
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User Comments

7/28/08 john boring, uninteresting,, predictable, thinks its more intelligent than it is. 1 stars
2/13/07 MP Bartley Excellently acted...but is there enough here to warrant a second viewing? 4 stars
11/22/05 JBH If we hadn't been confronted by Kerry Armstrong's ugly face it would have been excellent. 4 stars
5/23/05 Jim You think you know what's going on, but you don't. 5 stars
5/10/05 Hack-SAW One of the BEST Aussie' movies ever... 5 stars
1/05/05 peter More of barbara hershey in the tight sweater plzzzz!....movie was average 3 stars
7/29/04 Daveman Barbara Hershey is awful and the film is predictably melodramatic. 2 stars
7/24/04 john bale Top acting, script, explores dark relationships in suburbia. Best Aussie film in years. 5 stars
5/24/04 Greyhound Thought provoking 4 stars
4/23/04 Dianne Caruso Lantana made me sit and think for hours afterwards.It presented relevant Aus social issues 5 stars
3/08/04 Mr_Blue 2 words: Super Deluxe! And Normally I don't like that sentimental stuff, but this: SUPER 4 stars
3/08/04 alice great movie, good acting 4 stars
10/02/03 Fluffy Ears Henkelschmidt IV Colin Friels hopelessly miscast 2 stars
10/01/03 Mopsa Very difficult and painful, but good cinema 4 stars
1/27/03 Pinkline Jones Geoff Rush would be better placed in Pantomime - CRAP! 1 stars
12/28/02 Herb Crowell A total piece of drivel. A worthless pile of shit. 2 stars
12/01/02 Gruther Unninteresting 2 stars
10/23/02 shell lyons lantana is a film that demands multiple viewings in order to grasp its nuances 5 stars
9/28/02 Peter Sherlock Very very good. An Oz classic. Authentic 5 stars
8/05/02 Monday Morning Way slow and filled with impossible coincidences. 3 stars
7/15/02 Phil M. Aficionado Well done in every respect. Startling for its insights into character and life circumstance 5 stars
6/07/02 ownerofdajoint a real headknocker......... 4 stars
6/05/02 The Bomb 69 interesting character study, solid performances, a little too coincidental though 4 stars
5/19/02 natasha very honest, very human 5 stars
5/10/02 Diamantopoulou Chrys Excellent casting and direction! 5 stars
3/22/02 naturalhealer7 Very strong performances and realistic examining of relationships. 4 stars
3/16/02 Teresa A mystery entangled in the lives of four couples. Interesting ending. 4 stars
3/04/02 bevan r clark a fucking masterpiece 5 stars
3/03/02 D. Jah-Voo Well done, but...boring! 3 stars
2/26/02 KCobain Tense, Engrossing, and powerful 5 stars
2/23/02 Pippa Funny and sobering with a twist of lust thrown in 4 stars
2/15/02 JB Not horribly entertaining, yet a true revelation of masculinity. 4 stars
2/08/02 Alex Ezander You love it 5 stars
2/07/02 Bonne I thought this movie really sucked. Sorry I wasted a good Sunday morning on it. 1 stars
2/05/02 Moe Snodgrass This film would have been okay if not for the inane music. I wanted to walk out but didn't. 3 stars
1/28/02 ona mccarthy the best film i've seen in a long time 5 stars
1/25/02 pipeman28 Excellent. Fucking Brilliant. 5 stars
1/14/02 Andrew Willams Simply brilliant ! 5 stars
1/04/02 Elizabeth Great acting, great script and (except for one) sympathetic and believable characters. 5 stars
12/21/01 Bruce Very intense and very real, one of the best movies of the year 5 stars
12/17/01 Jimbo One of the best this year 4 stars
12/16/01 Isla Like a delicious feast; YUM 5 stars
12/15/01 Janet Taylor Gripping! 4 stars
12/15/01 laaami best australian film of 2001 - perfect 5 stars
12/02/01 Glenn A masterpiece... excellent cinema here! 5 stars
11/21/01 Danny Moss engrossing, must pay attention to all of the subtle twists 5 stars
11/05/01 ^Elendil^ I'm probably too young to fully appreciate the territory it covered, but still brilliant 5 stars
11/03/01 tim meh 1 stars
10/22/01 Roxsy beautifully acted 4 stars
10/21/01 Jeremy Great acting and totally engrossing drama 5 stars
10/15/01 viking The most satisfying Australian drama since "Shine" 5 stars
10/09/01 Pierce Lanson Everyone will recognise friends and acquaintances in this best Aust. movie of the year. 5 stars
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  25-Jan-2002 (R)



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