Rachael Blake

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Lantana Review


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Men have feelings too. Men cry, despite the stigma attached to their gender, or at least they want to more than they let on. It's all societal conditioning. That's the pretentious premise of this never-ending, two-hour look at couple dysfunction.

With a highly acclaimed cast that includes Anthony LaPaglia, Barbara Hershey, and Geoffrey Rush you would hope this idea would provide great material for such illustrious actors to sink their teeth into. Unfortunately, having been adapted for the screen from a play, by the playwright himself, much of the emotional impact is lost in overwhelmingly dramatic dialogue.

Continue reading: Lantana Review

Lantana Review


OK

Marital stress hangs like an albatross around the necks of all the primary characters in "Lantana," an viscous Australian ensemble piece that begins as an intricate, intimate web of rocky relationships and evolves into a tangled, disconcerting mystery.

Two floundering couples, connected through six-degrees-of-separation periphery, are at the center of the story. Anthony LaPaglia is Leon Zat, a police inspector who takes out his many frustrations on suspects and in bed with Jane (Rachael Blake), an almost-divorcee from the salsa dance class his wife drags him to every week. His marriage to brittle Sonja (Kerry Armstrong) has grown tepid and uncommunicative -- a fact that she regularly bemoans to her shrink, Valerie Sommers (Barbara Hershey).

Valerie is a woman who has had a hard time maintaining her professional detachment since her young daughter was murdered two years before. Her marriage to John (Geoffrey Rush), a prickly law school dean, has grown so numb since the loss of their child that they speak to each other -- even about sex -- like uneasy co-workers. And the fact that John deals with his sorrow in quietly tearful visits to the murder site while Valerie has chosen to grieve publicly, publishing a book about the killing, hasn't helped heal their rift.

Continue reading: Lantana Review

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