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Lantana is a hothouse thriller of tangled sexuality. Set in Australia, the film pivots on a woman’s murder. But director Ray Lawrence (Bliss) and screenwriter Andrew Bovell are more interested in the four couples linked to the case. Anthony LaPaglia plays Leon, a cop who cheats on his wife, Sonja (Kerry Armstrong). Sonja vents to her therapist, Valerie (Barbara Hershey), whose marriage to John (Geoffrey Rush) has been shattered by tragedy. Leon’s affair with Jane (Rachael Blake), split from her husband, Pete (Glenn Robbins), can’t stop him from coming unglued. When the case leads Leon to Jane’s neighbors, Nik (Vince Colosimo) and his wife, Paula (Daniela Farinacci), emotions run wild. Lawrence expertly choreographs the release of festering secrets. The acting is top-notch, and LaPaglia, who makes the cop’s torment palpable, gives the performance of his career.

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