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They talk about all the Canadians in Hollywood but the big invasion these days is from Australia.  And the Aussies blend in almost as well as the Canucks.  If you read the recent People Magazine story, it's not just Mel Gibson anymore. And they are starring in the movies that got Oscar nominations.  There's Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge), Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind), Guy Pearce (Memento), Hugh Jackman (Kate & Leopold), Heath Ledger (A Monster's Ball), and Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive).  Ok, Kate & Leopold is only nominated for Best Song but you get the idea.  I knew about most of them being from down under but  not Naomi Watts.  She's Kidman's best friend. They met long ago while auditioning for a bathing-suit commercial.  Lantana is made in Australia so, naturally it stars a couple of well-known Aussie actors, Geoffrey Rush (Shine, Shakespeare in Love) and Anthony LaPaglia.  I always assumed LaPaglia was American.  You'll recognize his face but maybe not remember where you saw it.  He makes lots of movies in supporting roles, usually playing a tough guy or a police detective.  In Lantana, he gets a starring role. He plays, you guessed it, a police detective.  This is one of those stories where everything connects like in an Altman film or a Dickens book.  The film opens with the camera pushing its way through some shrubbery, actually it's a Lantana.   Anyway, there's a dead body in there.  It's some time before we find out who it is, although you may guess as you watch.  The movie then goes back in time a little and we get to know the police detective (LaPaglia), his unhappy wife (Kerry Armstrong), his wife's unhappy psychiatrist (Barbara Hershey), his wife's psychiatrist's unhappy husband (Geoffrey Rush), his unhappy girlfriend (Rachael Blake), etc, etc.  These people kind of bounce off each other like billiard balls as their lives spiral down.  This isn't a happy film.  But it is pretty good.  The characters are interesting, well,  everyone is more interesting if they're Australian.  And the cast is outstanding.  In addition to LaPaglia and Rush, Barbara Hershey (she is American!) does a good turn as the unhappy psychiatrist.  And the story manages to keep moving through all the murky interrelationships between the characters towards the Dickensian end wherein we find out who died and how and why.  This isn't the usual wacky whimsical film from down under (Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) but it is worth seeing.