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September 27, 2013

Lantana (2001)
Director: Ray Lawrence
Actors: Anthony LaPaglia, Kerry Armstrong, Barbara Hershey


Synopsis: The lives of an interconnected group of Australians are brought into sharp focus when a therapist, Valerie (Barbara Hershey), doesn’t return home one night…

Review: Bafflingly well received on its release some ten years ago, I actually found Lantana to be an unbearably portentous and soapy film drama. Watching it with my mum, she even went as far as to liken it to an Australian version of Coronation Street, and though there is a clear hint of mischief in the comparison, it’s not entirely far-fetched to see a link between the clunky expositions of character, plot and theme in an everyday soap to those in Lantana.

I fancy people have been suckered in by Lantana‘s wannabe bluesy mood. It’s a story awash with a lot of middle-aged characters in crisis, illicit liaisons, drinks in dimly lit bars, and many of the players in some form of therapy. It’s perhaps the conceit of the interconnected that really outs Lantana‘s schematic flaws, though, to cut it some slack, I suppose the theme of trust, no matter how demonstratively portrayed, does transmit across all the narrative threads by the film’s close. (September 2013)

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