Lantana - rated - STONE COLD
Lantana: an Ordinary Weed
Magnolia this ain't. At least that film prepared us for the premise of outrageous
co-incidence. This tries to be Short Cuts or Three Colours
- but it just lame.
I realise that Sydney is a small town and that people are likely to cross
each others' paths, but can things really be that incestuous? How
on earth did the writer (Andrew Bovell) resist the temptation to tie
all the characters together? Couldn't Anthony La Paglia's son be getting
his dope from Nik? Couldn't Russell Dykstra's character (how wasted was
he!) be the builder doing La Paglia's renovations. Actually, that was a
nice touch, the renovations in the background. That rang true.
A bunch of middle-aged people having sex or not having sex, and when not
having sex, dancing salsa. Who could care less? It serves them right for
living in Castlecrag.
I began to be disappointed after the first scene. The camera pans across
a patch of Lantana. It is lush. The soundtrack is full of the sounds of
summer: cicadas evoke past days at the northern beaches. But the film never
lives up to the promise. It goes on for too long, dwelling on relationships
and people we never get to care about. What was Geoffrey Rush thinking?
And what was Barbara Hershey doing? Had she wandered onto Lawrence's set,
mistaking it for the set of a remake of George Romero's Day of the Dead?
(See The American Nightmare below).
Towards the end I kept looking at my watch thinking: how long can this
go on? There were endless scenes of "denouement" but nothing
seemed to click. The cinematography was unremarkable. Even the music (by
the usually wonderful Paul Kelly) was ordinary. And , by the way, are there
monkeys in Castlecrag? I'm sure I heard some on the overloud and distracting
© Michèle M Asprey 2002
This review is copyright. You must not use any part without my permission.