Tracks – reviews of 'achingly beautiful' travel epic

Apr 25, 2014

Mia Wasikowska 'outstanding' in captivating slow-burn tale of a woman crossing the desert

What you need to know 
Australian travel drama Tracks opens in UK cinemas today. John Curran directs the film adaptation of Robyn Davidson's best-selling travel memoir starring Mia Wasikowska and Girls' Adam Driver.

The film follows Davidson (played by Wasikowska) as she treks across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog in the late 1970s. The journey was considered almost impossible for a lone young woman at the time and Davidson attracts the attention of a National Geographic photographer (Driver).

What the critics like 
This is "a vivid, heartbreaking and captivating character piece and travel movie in one, guided by an outstanding Wasikowska", says Ian Nathan in Empire. It transforms scene to scene from rapture to nightmare, with trial-by-nature, odd-couple comedy and personal epiphany.

Curran's film is "achingly beautiful", says Robbie Collin in the Daily Telegraph. He knowingly pays tribute to Nicolas Roeg's great piece of landscape cinema, Walkabout, and the dustily convincing Wasikowska seems to almost blend with the desert around her. 

This is "one of those films that quietly creeps up on you", says Cath Clarke in Time Out. Wasikowska gives an unflashy, moving performance as Robyn, Driver gives another on-the-autism-spectrum-sweet performance and there's some brilliant, unforgettable camel-acting.

What they don't like 
This film of Davidson's feminist adventure epic captures the ravishing emptiness of the landscape but "there is little at stake here", says Mary Corliss in Time. Unlike Sandra Bullock's character in Gravity, Robyn risks her life only to be by herself and Wasikowska does not flesh out the role beyond "a certain blond mulishness".          

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