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WATCH: First Clip of Mia Wasikowska as Outback Adventurer Robyn Davidson in 'Tracks'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood August 26, 2013 at 2:30PM

One of the many exciting premieres awaiting fall festival goers is John Curran's "Tracks," starring Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, the real-life trail blazer who in 1977 at age 27 embarked on a 1700-mile journey across the Australian Outback with four camels and a dog. The film debuts at Venice and Toronto. Watch a first-look clip below.
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Mia Wasikowska in "Tracks"
Mia Wasikowska in "Tracks"

One of the many exciting premieres awaiting fall festival goers is John Curran's "Tracks," starring Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, the real-life trail blazer who in 1977 at age 27 embarked on a 1700-mile journey across the Australian Outback with four camels and a dog. The film debuts at Venice and Toronto. Watch a first-look clip below.

Adam Driver ("Girls") also stars as National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan, who meets up with Davidson on three occasions to document her journey. No sighting of Driver in this first clip, but we do see Wasikowska penning the letter that would eventually entice him to the desert. 

The lovely cinematography on display is by Mandy Walker ("Australia," "Red Riding Hood").

Here's the synopsis:

In 1977, a twenty-seven-year-old Australian woman named Robyn Davidson set out from Alice Springs to walk across 2,700 kilometers of harsh desert to the Indian Ocean. Accompanied only by her dog and four camels, Davidson yearned for a solitary journey of self-discovery, and had no ambition other than to reach the ocean beach. She ultimately wrote about her desert adventure in 1980 in the travelogue Tracks, which became a cult favourite around the world and has only now been beautifully adapted for the big screen by director John Curran (The Painted Veil).

Robyn (Mia Wasikowska, in a bravura performance) spends two hardscrabble years in the Alice Springs area learning how to train and care for camels (feral herds of which number in the thousands in Western Australia) in order to prepare for her journey. Finally ready to embark with her animals, she realizes she is woefully underfunded and, despite her desires for self-sufficiency, accepts a fee from National Geographic in exchange for a written piece. The magazine adds a condition: she must allow photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver, also at the Festival in Michael Dowse's The F Word) to photograph her at selected stops along the way.

"Tracks" joins a slew of other buzzy and star-studded new biopics screening at TIFF.


This article is related to: Video, Video, Mia Wasikowska, Toronto International Film Festival, Venice Film Festival


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.