Vitti, with her placid face and narrow eyes, gives the character a far-off stare. She seems to see through everything—not to the other side, not to any solid ground, but at least past the surface. She doesn’t just anchor the film. She embodies it, right through to her final act, a gesture so graceful and cathartic it recalls Ozu. Manny Farber, among others, criticized Antonioni’s aloofness, but L’Avventura is no statue. The narrative remains defiant, but the humanity is overwhelming.
July 09, 2014