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The intertwined lives of four couples living in and around Sydney, Australia, form the structure for this drama masquerading as a whodunit. Andrew Bovell freely adapted his play, Speaking in Tongues, opening up the action, as the geography and topography of Sydney and its suburbs become major characters as well. The film opens with a shot of what looks like a corpse entangled in a thick stand of branches -- the title plant, which grows in profusion in Australia. Bovell and director Ray Lawrence take their time in explaining whose body that is and then slowly reveal, with no help from a number… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A meditation on fidelity in marriage where the suspense and surprises stem from who has -- or hasn't -- been betraying each other and how."
‑ Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune
"The emotional experience of "Lantana" is heightened by its marvelous ensemble cast, all of whom etch a character in relatively brief screen time."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"As a mystery, "Lantana" is memorable. But as a study in human relationships and the human condition, it's unforgettable."
‑ Christopher Smith, Bangor Daily News (Maine)
"The movie doesn't have the appeal of a Hitchcock psychological murder mystery. It's more a well-acted study about the thorny landscape of relationships."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"Warmly received at its world premiere (Opening Film, Sydney Film Festival, June 8, 2001), Lantana is a film for film lovers, an engaging character study whose subjects are as varied as they are self-contradictory."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"Lawrence cast well and gets terrific performances all the way up and down the line."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"Solving the mystery of the dead body would be enough for most Hollywood movies. In Lantana, it's merely a device to launch us into more rewarding explorations."
‑ Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle
"... boldly, thoroughly, and honestly explores the difficulties of unconditional love in a society that teaches us that we should never deny our base appetites and impulses."
‑ Jeffrey Overstreet, Looking Closer
"It has a sensuality years away from the young faces and trainer-toned bodies we've come to expect."
‑ Harry Guerin, RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
"Cutting up love---In every dream house grows a Lantana of heartache"
‑ John Esther, Pasadena Weekly
"A perceptive, powerfully acted psychodrama."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Lantana is so rich in secondary characters and performances it's hard to mention them all. But you will certainly appreciate them."
‑ Steven Rosen, Denver Post
"The sort of movie that highbrow critics love to overrate...It's Married With Children for serious-minded folks without a sense of humor."
‑ Thomas Delapa, Boulder Weekly
"It makes thoughts and emotional webs run wild in our heads, and leaves us unsure of how to describe them, simply by focusing on the complexity of people."
‑ Ian Waldron-Mantgani, UK Critic
"Intriguing Australian film that's a must for independent film fans."
‑ Paul Salfen,
More reviews for Lantana on Rotten Tomatoes