Anna (Lea Massari), the daughter of a wealthy businessman, leads a privileged life in Rome with her architect fiancé Sandro (Gabrielle Ferzetti). Along with her closest friend Claudia (Monica Vitti) and a group of fellow socialites, she and Sandro undertake a yacht excursion to Lisca Bianca, an island off the coast of Sicily. Anna literally vanishes from the scene when she leaves the yacht to explore the island on foot. The shock of her disappearance and the lack of any sign of her whereabouts shatter the complacency of her family and friends. Only Sandro and Claudia make real efforts to find the slightest trace of Anna. But the void revealed in the aftermath haunts them at every turn, stalking their growing mutual affection.
L’Avventura received a special prize at the 1960 Cannes Film Festival for “creating a new film language”. In presenting the teeming uncertainty of modern life without offering the slightest recourse of a motive or explanation, Michelangelo Antonioni provoked audiences to look at films in a new way. A regular fixture on myriad lists of the greatest films made, L’Avventura remains a landmark of film history.
L'Avventura has still held up remarkably well, perhaps because the creepiness of existence remains topical in these apathetic times -- Filmcritic.com
Why don't we have movies like "L'Avventura'' anymore? Because we don't ask the same kinds of questions anymore. We have replaced the "purpose of life'' with the "choice of lifestyle" -- Chicago Sun-Times