|Lions Gate Films | Release Date: December 14, 2001||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
It's one of the best surprises of the holiday season.
Astonishingly well acted film, so much so that it seems unfair to single out any of the performances. Mr. Lawrence's camera sense is as sure and unobtrusive as his feel for acting. The movie just seems to happen, to grow out of the ground like a thorny plant, revealing the intricate intelligence of its design only in hindsight. Read full review
Lawrence's style, naturally lit and roughly realistic, matches the writing. Lantana sometimes has the air of a routine police procedural, sometimes the quality of a dour film noir. But this movie, so alert to mischance and dreams that don't quite work out as they should, has a good soul, a heart yearning for decency.
There's some genuine suspense in Lantana, including one unbearably tense moment that is worthy of Hitchcock. But the movie's most unnerving aspect is the way in which it suggests true happiness may be impossible to regain once you've lost it.
Steeped in quiet despair, Lantana is a psychological thriller that emphasizes the psychology over the thrills. It's a smart, heart-twisting picture.
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