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Tracks (2013)

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A young woman goes on a 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with four camels and her faithful dog.

Director:

John Curran

Writers:

Marion Nelson (screenplay), Robyn Davidson (book)
2 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lily Pearl ... Young Robyn
Mia Wasikowska ... Robyn
Philip Dodd ... Publican
Fiona Press ... Publican's Wife
Daisy Walkabout Daisy Walkabout ... Ada
Rainer Bock ... Kurt
Felicity Steel Felicity Steel ... Gladdy
John Flaus ... Sallay
Ian Conway Ian Conway ... Chilpi
Evan Casey Evan Casey ... Evan
David Pearce David Pearce ... David
Jessica Tovey ... Jenny
Darcy Crouch Darcy Crouch ... Tolly
Brendan Maclean Brendan Maclean ... Peter (as Brendan MacLean)
Jamie Timony Jamie Timony ... Bernard
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Storyline

A young woman goes on a 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of West Australia with four camels and her faithful dog.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of an incredible adventure from the producers of The King's Speech See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some partial nudity, disturbing images and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Hanway Films | Official Site | See more »

Country:

Australia

Language:

English | Aboriginal

Release Date:

6 March 2014 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Spuren See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,544, 21 September 2014

Gross USA:

$510,007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,878,242
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.40 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There have been many attempts to bring Robyn Davidson's adventure memoir to the big screen. Over the years both Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman have been attached to the lead role. Development on the movie adaptation began before lead actress Mia Wasikowska was even born. See more »

Goofs

As the photographer, Rick, Adam Driver says he was in Irian Jaya when fellow photographer, David Burnett, won the 'Capra' Medal (as in the film director, Frank Capra). There is no such thing. It is called the Capa Medal (formally, The Robert Capa Gold Medal), named after the famous photographer Robert Capa. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Robyn: Dear sir, I am planning to walk across the Australian desert from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. A distance of 2,000 miles. The trip will take six to seven months. There are herds of feral camels roaming freely throughout Central Australia, and my idea was to capture a few and train them to carry my gear.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The initial credits are shown over original photos from the "Tracks" book and the National Geographic article. The photos, taken by Rick Smolan, show Robyn Davidson during the actual walk. See more »

Connections

Featured in David Stratton: A Cinematic Life (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Flying
Written and performed by Garth Stevenson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An experience that assumes a dreamlike and spiritual aura
4 November 2013 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

Poet and naturalist Diane Ackerman said, "The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one's curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun struck hills every day." One such high-spirited thoroughbred is Australian naturalist Robyn Davidson who, at the age of 27, crossed the Australian outback in 1977 from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean with only four camels and her dog as companions. Nominated for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, Director John Curran's Tracks documented Davidson's nine-month journey of 1677 miles without adding layers of melodrama to distract us from her true spirit of adventure and love of nature.

Based on Robyn Davidson's classic travel book of the same name and supported by the extraordinary cinematography of Mandy Walker and the lovely score by Garth Stevenson, the film follows Robyn as she travels solo across the unfathomable desert. Sponsored by National Geographic magazine, photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) was chosen by the magazine to photograph her journey for the magazine, but only meets up with her at scattered points during her trip. Davidson at first finds Rick annoyingly over-talkative, but slowly warms to his support and caring and they become friends, while still keeping their distance.

Not much information is given as to Robyn's motivations in undertaking this adventure, but the film does provide flashbacks over the course of the film informing us about events in the naturalist's past involving loss and disappointment. In some ways, comparable to Chris McCandless' odyssey as documented in Sean Penn's 2007 film Into the Wild, Robyn's goal is to convince herself that she is up to the task of following her own path without having to conform to society's expectations. In spite of her need for solitude, however, she learns to compromise with friends and reach an understanding with visiting journalists looking for a story, even though at one point she says to a resident of the desert, "It's hard to explain that I just want perfectly nice people to shut up and die." Though Robyn does her best to avoid the unwanted company, she eventually recognizes her need for support from others, not only from Rick, but also from an Aboriginal elder named Eddy (Roly Mintuma), who accompanies her to make sure that she avoids the Aboriginal's sacred land. Mia Wasikowska as Davidson perfectly captures the sharp edges of her enigmatic personality while still retaining her adamant refusal to be the effect of her social limitations. It is a strong performance that may earn her consideration for a Best Actress award at the 2014 Oscars.

Though some viewers may become restless with the unchanging landscape and the lack of overt drama, obstacles do appear in the form of wild bull camels charging towards her and the need for her to take a 160 mile detour to avoid Aboriginal lands. While Tracks has a surprising amount of clutter for an adventure into the wild, as Davidson comes closer to her goal, the growing quiet and emptiness of the vast outback turns her journey into an experience that assumes a dreamlike and spiritual aura.

Through it all, her fierce determination to accomplish her goal while still retaining her sense of self grows stronger. Davidson in a recent interview said that "At the time, all young people pretty much wanted to do extraordinary things and extend the limits of what had been given to them as their roles." Poet e e cummings agrees, saying, "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battles which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting." That is the legacy of Robyn Davidson.


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