LaPaglia is police detective Leon Zat. How's Zat? Glad you asked - he's trying to jog off a paunch; trying not to let a one-night stand with Jane (Blake) turn into an affair; trying to reconnect with his wife Sonja (Armstrong); trying to find Valerie (Hershey), a psychiatrist who has vanished; trying to keep it all together, basically, before he implodes. That's Zat's story, but it only begins to suggest the complexity of this multi-layered, deeply satisfying movie. Lawrence and screenwriter Andrew Bovell revisit more than half-a-dozen characters before, during and after the crucial disappearance - an enigma at the centre of a shifting kaleidoscope of intersecting lives. Comparisons have been made with Altman and Paul Thomas Anderson, but Lantana is less flamboyant than its American counterparts. Lawrence never looks down on his characters. He holds them at eye slevel, close and even. Just occasionally he lets down his exceptional actors, spelling out subtleties embedded in the performances, but this is nit-picking, really. This rare thriller insists that the most compelling mysteries are buried in human relationships. LaPaglia gives the performance of his career.
Cast and crew