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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Lantana: Special Edition (2001)

Lantana: Special Edition (2001)

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Released 12-Aug-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Audio Commentary-R. Lawrence (dir.), J. Chapman (prod.), A. Bovell (writer)
Featurette-The Nature of Lantana
Gallery-Photo x 22 Poster x 4
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-International Sales Trailer
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Audio-Only Track-Te Busco by Celia Cruz
Notes-Soundtrack, Screenplay, Websites
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 115:48
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (81:12) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ray Lawrence

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Anthony LaPaglia
Geoffrey Rush
Barbara Hershey
Kerry Armstrong
Rachael Blake
Vince Colosimo
Russell Dykstra
Daniella Farinacci
Peter Phelps
Leah Purcell
Glenn Robbins
Case Slip Case
RPI $36.95 Music Paul Kelly

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Lantana is an interesting Australian film centred around four couples' lives, linked by a series of connected events.

    Dr. Valerie Somers (Barbara Hershey) is a psychiatrist who has just released a book dealing with the death of her young daughter. John Knox (Geoffrey Rush) is married to Valerie and is dealing with the death in his own way. Sonja Zat (Kerry Armstrong) is one of Valerie's patients. She is married to Leon (Anthony LaPaglia) a Sydney police officer. Leon has had an affair with Jane (Rachael Blake) who lives next door to Paula (Daniela Farinacci) and Nik (Vince Colosimo). As the film progresses, each of these characters are drawn together, pressure is applied to all their relationships and it becomes clear that everyone has something to hide.

    When released, this film received wide critical acclaim and was nominated for numerous IF and AFI awards. The film went on to win seven AFI awards including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress in addition to five IF awards. This is a very entertaining film with an intelligent script and excellent performances that will appeal to a wide range of viewers.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is consistently sharp throughout and high levels of detail are always visible. No low-level noise was detected at any time during the transfer. During the numerous darkly lit scenes, excellent levels of shadow detail are always visible.

    The transfer displays a natural colour palette throughout and it is always vibrant and well saturated. During a scene set in a bar, the lighting produces obvious yellow tones but this is never distracting to the viewer. Almost all scenes during the film utilize natural light sources and this helps to easily reproduce the natural colour palette that is displayed.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected during the transfer. A small number of aliasing artefacts were detected during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 6:26, 8:23, 19:52 and 21:24. All of these artefacts are quite minor and are only slightly distracting to the viewer.

    A very small number of film artefacts were detected during the transfer. Some of these artefacts may be seen at 1:41, 18:31, 24:57 and 31:11 but these are all very small and are not distracting to the viewer.

    At 4:19, the image appears to skip a couple of frames. This is not distracting and is unlikely to be detected by many viewers.

    Disappointingly, no subtitles are provided on this disc.

    The layer change occurs at 81:12, part-way through Chapter 14. It is not disruptive to the viewer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Two audio mixes are provided on this disc. The default track is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 448 kbps mix. An English Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 surround mix is also provided. I listened to both tracks in full and found them both to be of high quality.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand at all times. No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    The effective original score by Paul Kelly always matches the on-screen action without drawing significant attention to itself. In addition to the original score, a considerable amount of Latin music is featured throughout the film.

    The surround and subwoofer channels are used throughout the film to create an enveloping soundfield. These channels are used successfully for both the score and numerous directional effects.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

Audio Commentary

    This is a feature-length scene-specific audio commentary with director Ray Lawrence, producer Jan Chapman and writer Andrew Bovell. The commentary is presented as a Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 soundtrack with each of the participants assigned one of the front channels. This commentary discusses each of the characters' roles and their motivations and relationships. Unfortunately, few technical details regarding the film's production are covered during the commentary. Topics including casting, locations and script changes are briefly discussed.

Featurette: The Nature of Lantana (40:19)

    This featurette includes a collection of cast and crew interviews discussing each of the main character's roles and their relationships during the film. The main cast members also discuss how they came to this project and why they wanted the roles. Also included in this featurette is a short tour of one of the film's locations with Kerry Armstrong. Only a small amount of behind the scenes footage and technical information is included in the featurette. This featurette is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.58:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack that is often quite muffled.

Photo and Poster Gallery

    This is a collection of twenty-two stills from the film that are presented windowboxed at a 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.78:1. After the production stills, a collection of four different posters for the film are presented.

Australian Theatrical Trailer (1:49)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

International Sales Trailer (2:07)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Cast and Crew Biographies

    Multiple page biographies are included for the following cast and crew members: Ray Lawrence, Jan Chapman, Andrew Bovell, Anthony LaPaglia, Geoffrey Rush, Barbara Hershey, Kerry Armstrong, Rachael Blake, Glen Robbins, Vince Colosimo, Daniela Farinacci, Leah Purcell, Peter Phelps and Russell Dykstra.

Audio Clip: Te Busco by Celia Cruz (4:07)

    This is a Dolby Digital 2.0 musical track that is presented with a static menu page.


    This is a single menu page stating that the screenplay for the film is available from Currency Press.


    This is a single menu page stating that the soundtrack for the film is available from EMI Music.


    This is a single menu page listing the official websites for the film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The additional extras provided on the local release would make this the version of choice but the exclusion of subtitles is extremely disappointing.


    Lantana is an excellent Australian film dealing with a group of couples whose lives become irreversibly intertwined.

    This is an impressive video transfer that it is only marred by the occasional aliasing artefact.

    The impressive enveloping audio mix suits the feature and is consistently of high quality.

    The collection of extras included provides some interesting insights into the characters portrayed and their motivations but has little information about the actual making of this film.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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