The other night we were at David’s parents’ house searching for a movie that the whole family could watch together on Netflix. We settled on the Australian film, Tracks. Although the boys put up quite a lot of resistance in the beginning, wanting to watch How to Train Your Dragon or The Great Mouse Detective instead, they eventually came around and became absolutely engrossed in the movie about the “camel lady.”
Tracks, which is based on Robyn Davidson’s best-selling memoir of the same name, tells the story of Davidson’s 1970s solo trek across the Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with her dog, Diggity, and four camels. The perilous journey, which encompasses 1,700 miles of harsh Australian dessert, was partially sponsored by National Geographic on the condition that Davidson allow its photographer, Rick Smolan, to meet up with her occasionally to document the trip. Davidson would go on to write the article in National Geographic that accompanied Smolan’s photographs (you can see Smolan’s actually pictures of the journey here.
The film stars Mia Wasikowska (of Alice in Wonderland fame) and Adam Driver (who I loved in This is Where I Leave You), is reminiscent of Wild without all of the sex and drugs (okay, maybe there was a little sex, but no drugs). It gets off to a bit of a slow start, but if you stick with it, you will not be disappointed. Wasikowska, who basically carries the entire film on her shoulders, delivers a ruggedly authentic performance that will leave you both captivated and emotionally drained. Adam Driver’s upbeat charm and optimistic outlook interjects bursts of energy in just the right places so that the oftentimes monotonous journey does not become overly downcast or dreary. The movie made us laugh and made us cry, but it mostly left us in wonder. The cinematography alone would make the film worth seeing. Tracks is absolutely stunning and will make you long for a visit to the Australian Outback.
[all images via imdb]