ADVENTURE; 1hr 53min
STARRING: Mia Wasikowska, Adam Driver
Are we there yet? Wasikowska and friend
In 1975, disillusioned with city life, 25-year-old Robyn Davidson (Wasikowska) takes a train to Alice Springs. Her goal is to trek 2,700 kilometres across Australia's Western Desert from Alice to Uluru, then on to the Indian Ocean, with just her dog, Diggity, and some grumbly camels for company. Locals are underwhelmed. Robyn doesn’t care. She’s an odd duck, fiercely self-contained and wearied by people, yet at one with the three camels she arduously trains (a baby tags along, too). By 1977, she is good to go.
The landscape’s uncompromising beauty is a punishing contradiction. For nine months, Robyn’s primary, sporadic human contact is with National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Driver), with whom she has a typically prickly involvement. As time passes, Wasikowska seems to meld into the craggy rust, her skin burned and her fine, blonde hair flying. More than a performance, it’s a re-living, and director John Curran, working from Davidson’s 1980 memoir, mines every elemental minute. You might not fully comprehend what drove Robyn Davidson, but you’ll be with her for every step