286 - L'Avventura - 1 star
This film won the special jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1961 for "a new movie language and the beauty of its images".
In other words, "arty, boring and pretentious". This film was rewarded for creating the style that many people define all European foreign language films with. In that it can be inaccessible, elitist and, yes, pretentious.
I'm a huge fan of foreign language cinema, knowing that once you get past the subtitles there is an entire world of film that can be absolutely wonderful... but a boring film is still a boring film, no matter what the language. And this is a BORING film. A total snooze-fest due to the complete lack of anything interesting or emotionally engaging happening.
L'Avventura seems to be about the disappearance of a fiesty young woman called Anna who goes missing on a small island. Her boyfriend and her best friend try to solve the mystery of why and where she disappeared to, but fall in love along the way. In the end, seeming to completely forget and not care about their mutual friend, her disappearance remains unresolved.
It sets up a mystery and starts proceedings to solve it only to give up suddenly just at the end and providing an unsatisfactory and disappointing conclusion. Imagine you meet a girl in a club, you have a few drinks and are dancing all night long, only for her to disappear with her mates at the end of the night. L'Avventura is the cinematic equivalent of a cocktease.
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