Latana

Lantana: a noxious and troublesome weed with dense and spiky undergrowth, sometimes cultivated for its colorful, aromatic flowers (film website). Like the plant, this film is a thicket: lovely and sweet smelling on its surface, dense and thorny beneath. In Lantana, a quartet of married couples from different strata of urban Australian life–wealthy Valerie and John, the middle-class Zats, working-class Jane and her estranged husband Pete, and struggling, just barely working-class Nik and Paula–are connected by psychiatrist Valerie, whose disappearance is the event around which these couples lives begin to revolve. The delicately layered storyline reminds viewers of three essential truths about human existence: No one is exactly what he or she seems; actions generate ripples that reach far beyond the actions themselves; and life does go on, no matter what, but it is never the same as before. Before what? Before everything.

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