L'Avventura (1960)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

A yacht full of rich people go on a cruise to a small island. The wealthy playboy laments when his flighty girlfriend indicates she is not yet ready to marry and she disappears. Unclear of the reason behind her absence, he follows her with the help of a poor woman who hopes to be more than his traveling companion.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Elio Bartolini, Tonino Guerra, Michelangelo Antonioni
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 3, 2001
Janus Films


as Claudia

as Corrado

as Anna's Father

as Princess Patrizia

as Gloria Perkins

as Young Prince Geoffre...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for L'Avventura

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for L'Avventura

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (8)

It's easy to bash Antonioni as passe. It's harder, I think, to explain the cinematic power of the way his camera watches, and waits, while the people on screen stave off a dreadful loneliness.

Full Review… | November 1, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Antonioni created, as the Cannes jury put it in 1960, a new language of cinema, one that perfectly expressed a modern alienation that's enduring as well as the film.

Full Review… | July 12, 2013
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

A graduate of Screenwriting 1-2 might dismiss this method as casualness or even carelessness, but every shot and bit of business in L'Avventura represents calculation of the highest order.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Village Voice
Top Critic

The first ten minutes make it clear that this is the work of a discerning, troubled, uniquely gifted artist who speaks to us through the refined center of his art.

Full Review… | May 27, 2009
The New Republic
Top Critic

It's a work that requires some patience -- a 145-minute mystery that strategically elides any conventional denouement -- but more than amply repays the effort.

Full Review… | July 31, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

If it once seemed the ultimate in arty, intellectually chic movie-making, the film now looks all too studied and remote a portrait of emotional sterility.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for L'Avventura

Michelangelo Antonioni: 1912-2007

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

Many films are called "classic." Very few advance and redefine the language of cinema. L'Avventura is such a film. What it showed was that films do not have to be structured around major events, that very little drama can happen and a film can still be fascinating to its audience. It also showed -- and this was harder for audiences to grasp (and still is) -- that events in films do not have to be, in an obvious way, meaningful. L'Avventura presents its characters behaving according to motivations unclear to themselves as much as to the audience; they are sensitive to mood, to landscape, to things that happen, but they also behave in routine and conformist ways. None of them, except Claudia (who had, in her words, "a sensible childhood, without any money"), seems to have much consciousness of the lack of direction that afflicts them. They are, to use a word very fashionable at the time the film came out, alienated. But to say, as many critics did, that the film is "about" alienation is to miss the point. The film shows, it doesn't argue. It convinces by the sensitivity and accuracy of its observation, not by heavy signals to the audience to think this, that, or the other.

More than any other film L'Avventura seems to define the spirit of a time in cinema when anything seemed possible and there was no territory into which it could not venture. (The more I think about it, post-war Italian cinema may be my favorite "genre." It didn't succumb to any filmic conventions, and approached weighty subject matter with grace and elegance.) Above all what it seeks to capture is the world of fleeting emotion, feelings which are unstable and crystallize only momentarily in the camera's gaze. After L'Avventura, Antonioni did not look back. He made three further films with Monica Vitti --The Night (1961), Eclipse (1962), and Red Desert (1964) -- each time pushing further back the frontiers of what cinema could explore. It's hard to say which of these films is the best, but L'Avventura is the one that started Antonioni on his quest, and remains the one that most clearly represents the unique nature of his art.

Jonathan Hutchings

Super Reviewer

I saw this movie for a class, but I'd like to see it again, I don't remember it well.

Aj V

Super Reviewer

L'Avventura Quotes

– Submitted by Koba L (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss L'Avventura on our Movie forum!