Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Tracks

Tracks
Starring:
Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver, Rolley Mintuma


Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements, some partial nudity, disturbing images and brief strong language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: October 3, 2014 Released by: The Weinstein Company

Picturesque and contemplative but less exhilarating (from a narrative standpoint) is the adapted real-life experiences of adventurer Robyn Davidson traversing the Australian desert in 1977 and chronicling it for National Geographic.

Mia Wasikowska (Jane Eyre, Stoker) stars as the disillusioned but later determined 27-year-old Davidson whoarrived in Alice Springs a year earlier in John Curran's Tracks. It's spare in dialogue (though with its share of narration) but becomes an immersive and often inspiring drama with indelible sights across a barren, vast sun-drenched landscape.

Feeling the misogynistic and prejudicial effects Robyn decides to make preparations to embrace her yearnings for solitude as a winsome Wasikowska brings sensitivity and strength to a role that (presumably with the efforts of make-up artists) has a noticeable physical toll. Especially during a time when less was said and known about the effects of melanoma.

Getting the backing from National Geographic and what sheneeds from a nearby camel farm includes her being lensed byRick Smolan (Adam Driver of Lincoln, Frances Ha and Inside Llewyn Davis). To acquiesce her wishes Rick will arrive to do his work at certain predetermined locales. Besides Driver, Rolley Mintuma excels in backup as very hirsute sagely Aborigine guide Mr. Eddie in the more sacred parts of the very warm, arid environment. Arguably more colorful expression comes from Robyn's non-human companions which include a quartet of memorable camels and faithful canine Diggity.

Curran, who has made some striking dramas like The Painted Veil works diligently with lenser Mandy Walker in rich, widescreen fashion to help accentuate the versatility of a maturing actress very willing to traipse genres. Long tracking shots illuminate the tones that make the cinematic experience captivating as unhurried as it may be and less jarring than stunning for the broken-hearted to do something
extraordinary.

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