Action / Drama / Mystery / Romance

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN


Top cast

Manu Bennett Photo
Manu Bennett as Steve
Barbara Hershey Photo
Barbara Hershey as Valerie
Geoffrey Rush Photo
Geoffrey Rush as John
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1.08 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
P/S ...
2.22 GB
English 5.1
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by noralee10 / 10

Intelligent Test of Loyalty and Love Among Adults

If Miramax had been distributing "Lantana," you'd have heard as much about this movie as "In the Bedroom."

Anthony LaPaglia matches Tom Wilkinson for a low-burning but implosive performance. New to U.S. audiences, Kerry Armstrong is captivating.

While it's absolutely fascinating to see how screenwriter Andrew Bovell opened up his play "Speaking in Tongues," though both stand on their own, particularly for their frank look at the issue of the frailty of trust and betrayal, between husbands and wives, lovers, families and friends.

The movie makes much better thematic use of a cinematic technique of visual coincidences that other films have used as a gimmick. Here the coincidences provide crucial, ever more difficult tests, leading to either sins of omission or sins of commission as those without trust jump to conclusions or hold on to their love and faith in their partner.

The music is by Paul Kelly and is superbly atmospheric, creating a noir atmosphere and building up the tension with a continuing theme that alternates with sexy salsa music. In particular, a leit motif plays ominously whenever the titular, tropical plant fills the screen.

The crowded audience interpreted ironic comments as high comedy, which was annoying, but perhaps helped to break the tension. There was a lot of audience talking as the story was half-told visually --a particularly neat change from the original play--and the coincidences would be revealed to the audience.

This is a sophisticated film for grown-ups that absolutely respects the intelligence of its viewers.

(originally written 1/21/2002)

Reviewed by SnoopyStyle7 / 10

Aussie murder mystery thriller

A dead woman's body is caught up in the woods. Plice detective Leon Zat ((Anthony LaPaglia) is out of shape and suffers bouts of violence. He's cheating on his wife Sonja with Jane. Sonja goes to well-known author therapist Valerie Somers (Barbara Hershey). Valerie's daughter Eleanor was murdered and she wrote a book about her. She and her husband John (Geoffrey Rush) are struggling. She drives her car off the road and gets picked up by somebody unknown. Jane sees her neighbor Nik drive home late at night. Leon investigates missing Valerie.

There are a lot of characters in interconnected stories. It is a little difficult to keep them all straight when the actors are not all well known. The first hour of this two hour movie is a little slow. It's a lot of introduction and laying down relationships before the disappearance of Valerie. The body at the beginning tricked me a little by amping me up for a police investigation right from the start. The second half is a pretty good mystery thriller. It's murky and moody. I wish the first half is tighter and we get to the investigation sooner.

Reviewed by jboothmillard8 / 10


This is classed as a thriller, and while it doesn't have the most "thrilling" moments, it is a film that will certainly grip you. Basically it is an ensemble character film that sees Detective Leon Zat (The Client's Anthony LaPaglia) having an affair with dance class attendee Jane 'Janie' O'May (Rachael Blake),Leon's wife Sonja (Kerry Armstrong) sees psychiatrist Dr. Valerie Somers (Beaches' Barbara Hershey),and she suspects her husband John Knox (Geoffrey Rush) is having an affair with one of her gay patients. Valerie is driving home one night and has her car break down, and the next morning John reports her missing to the police, and Leon is the one investigating. After confessing his affair to an upset Sonja, Leon then goes to Valerie's married neighbours, nurse Paula Daniels (Daniella Farinacci) and husband Nik (Vince Colosimo). Nik saw Jane throw something out the car window into the Lantana plants, it's Valerie's shoe, and Nik is taken into custody refusing to answer any questions. Eventually it comes out that Nik was driving along the road, and picked Valerie up, but she jumped out again as they went along an unknown road, leaving behind the shoe. So Leon, his partner Detective Claudia Wiss (Leah Purcell),Nik and John go to the spot where she jumped out, and they do find her body, she accidentally fell down. When Leon returns home, he listens to the tapes of his wife having therapy with Valerie, she said she still loves him, and he cries. He then goes to Sonja, and then film ends with them dancing seductively together, Leon has improved his steps, and Sonja can't quite have as much passion, and whether they make up or not is not answered. With great performances, I can agree the finding of the dead body plot line becomes a little less interesting compared to the drama of the character relationships, all involving chance and coincidence, a controlled Australian film. Very good!

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