Lantana refers to a “genus of tropical shrub with small, colorful blooms that hides a dense, thorny undergrowth,” where we first see the lifeless body of a woman.Retracing steps: a rope with a wide radius of characters weaves into a knot, that, when tied tighter, brings them 1) suspiciously, and 2) coincidentally, closer together. Something of a Wild Things, but with the kinky sex replaced with middle-aged sex (“This is not an affair, it’s a one night stand that happened twice”), and the youthful, pretty actors replaced by average schmoes. However, that does not mean Ray Lawrence’s movie loses any fun, nor does it mean that much of it is plausible. The Australian film racked up major awards at this year’s Australian Film Institute Awards. Here, I doubt Lantana would ever win anything and not because it doesn’t have stand-out qualities (vivacious and natural performances by — in order — Kerry Armstrong, Barbara Hershey, Rachael Blake, Leah Purcell and Daniela Farinacci; even Geoffrey Rush isn’t nettlesome for once), but rather since the collective “we” of the United States’ major awards would never make truly worthy choices. Make it their loss, not yours. Or ignore it like weeds sprouting from cracks in concrete.
With Vince Colosimo and Russell Dykstra.[Worth-seeing.]