Lantana marked a new direction for Australian cinema. With a discernable European feel it is layer upon layer of intertwined stories and shoots – just like the plant – and getting to the roots of the growth becomes more and more challenging.
The plant itself is described as “all forms of lantana are thought to be toxic” a theme that’s echoed throughout the film in the most surprising of ways and from the very opening sequence.
As the film opens a body is discovered in the shrub and as each story branch is removed to find the cause, those involved become more and more entangled in the world that has grown over them.
As complex interrelationships are exposed we are introduced to and all-star cast who turn in laser-guided performances aided by a script that twists and turns up many a garden path. Anthony LaPaglia is Leon, the police officer Leo. Kerry Armstrong is his wife Sonja. Barbara Hershey plays psychiatrist Valerie Somers. Geoffrey Rush is her husband John and the supporting cast features Peter Phelps, Rachael Blake, Vince Colosimo and others.
Despite the density of relationships and suspicions related to the murder and their own fidelity all are strangely alone and disconnected and it’s these explorations against the backdrop of murder that prove utterly engrossing.
Lantana was and is a completely unique Australian film.
Date: Monday August 28th
Place: Backlot Studios, 21 Simpson St, West Perth
Cost: $20 (includes drinks and nibbles)
Buy tickets here.