Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the BFI London Film Festival
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select

Mia Wasikowska
Adam Driver.
John Curran.
Marion Nelson.
Running Time
112 minutes

4 Star Empire Rating
2 Star Empire Rating
2 Star Empire Rating
Intern, The
3 Star Empire Rating
3 Star Empire Rating

5 Star Empire Rating
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Oz, the great and powerful

submit to reddit

Loner Robyn Davidson (Wasikowska) takes it upon herself to cross the Outback with four camels. A quixotic journey that comes to the attention of an irksome National Geographic photograper (Driver).


Once meant for Julia Roberts, this terrific Australian travelogue instead gifts Mia Wasikowska the chance to break away from sullen teenagers and give a moving, womanly, detailed portrayal of a complex soul. Based on her bestselling memoir, this is the true story of Robyn Davidson, not what you’d call a people person, who decided to cross 1,700 miles of Australian Outback with four camels and her devoted black labrador, Diggity. In 1977, an unthinkable journey for a lone young woman.

Davidson’s motivation is obscure even to her. We are not talking about anything as trite as finding herself, more the opposite. Craving isolation, she wants to disappear into the vastness of the desert. Her encounters with genial but bemused Aborigines give her expedition a spiritual aura, and the film falls in with Nicholas Roeg’s trippy classic Walkabout and, in a sense, Peter Weir’s dreamy evocation of primal nature, Picnic At Hanging Rock.

Although Tracks has a harder nose. Davidson’s quest could be a matter of therapy (she dwells on her mother’s death). Or a gesture of feminist empowerment (she reacts to male assistance like a bee sting). Or it could be born out of sheer bloodymindedness. Wasikowska, thriving in the blanketing sun and evoking Davidson’s inward strangeness via voice-over, captures all the barbs, edges and graces of a character exhausted by human company but at one with animal kind.

Naturally, she will be beset by an old-school Disney quotient of mislaid camels, lost paths, storms whipped up out of nothing and water shortages, but finds herself harassed most of all by National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (the excellently oddball Adam Driver), who serves as mission control, erstwhile lover, saviour and nemesis all wrapped up in one lanky, obnoxious and (worst of all) American body.

While never straying from the linear framework of the book, director John Curran gives his all to the possibilities of the landscape, allowing it to transform scene to scene from rapture to nightmare, making ample room for a full mix of trial-by-nature, odd-couple comedy, personal epiphany, and a light-hearted exposé of camel management.

However familiar the terrain, this is a vivid, heartbreaking and captivating character piece and travel movie in one, guided by an outstanding Wasikowska.

Reviewed by Ian Nathan

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Tracks
Empire Star Rating

no no no

Ugh. This film. While I can admire the performances and its execution overall, there's something about the story itself that I just don't like. It's like All Is Lost for the Twilight Generation, i.e. moody teens. Basically, I just couldn't warm to her character. Early on when she makes it clear that her main reason to not do the walk was 'why not do it'. And that's when she lost me. I had no support for her, dragging all those poor bloody camels all that way, shooting other camels, with her ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 22:25, 27 May 2014 | Report This Post

Showing the Proclaimers how it's done...

The only obstacle Robyn really had to overcome was her stubbornness, but rather than a journey of self-discovery, the film just shows Mia Wasikowska essentially 'putting up with herself' until she reaches her destination. Tracks isn't as inspirational as all involved might have intended, but it's a compelling story, certainly. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheMightyBlackout at 18:31, 20 May 2014 | Report This Post

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

Licence Denied: The Bond Themes You Didn't Get To Hear
A dozen of 007's greatest misses

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)