directed by John Curran
by Walter Chaw Kind of like a dustier Eight Below, in which Mia Wasikowska walks four camels and a dog across the Australian Outback in a whimsical death march that I find, at my age (40), amazingly selfish and borderline sociopathic. Tracks is based on the true story of "camel lady" Robyn Davidson, who, in 1977, walked across a huge stretch of Australia because she really hated being around other people. Davidson says, by way of charming voiceover narration, that she didn't want to be a whiny bitch like the rest of her generation, but she replaces that option with becoming an ungrateful, surly, mortally-broken (by her mother's suicide--fair enough) girl-woman intent on taking camels with her on a trek across some of the most unforgiving terrain on the planet. Just because it's there, try to pay attention. So it's like Into the Wild, but terrible, scored as a child or James Horner would score it and directed like a not-on-purpose horror film in the way that people who've never seen any horror films...or other films...shoot in locations like these. It's also a crowd-pleaser that will attract everyone who doesn't want to be challenged by a movie--think Rabbit-Proof Fence, without the corollary benefit of making the middlebrow believe they're not racist.