What would compel a young woman to walk almost 1,700 miles across the Australian Outback, with only a dog and a quartet of camels for company? As real-life nomad Robyn Davidson (played by Mia Wasikowska) says at the start of “Tracks” — director John Curran’s handsome biopic — “I believe that when you’ve been stuck too long in one spot, it’s best to throw a grenade where you are standing and jump, and pray.”

It’s 1975 when Davidson first pitches up in Alice Springs, a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory, looking for someone who can teach her how to handle camels in preparation for her planned solo trek to the distant west coast. Everyone she tells about the quest thinks she’s nuts, but a dorky American photographer she encounters, Rick Smolan (Adam Driver), at least encourages her to get in touch with his editor at National Geographic.

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