Wanting to escape her bigoted, misogynistic small-town upbringing — and with little but four camels, a dog, and her wits to guide her — a young woman (Mia Wasikowska) embarks on a 2,000-mile trek across the Australian desert. It only sounds like Disneynature. Whatever you look for in a movie – action, adventure, drama, romance, integrity, spiritual and artistic enlightenment – is contained within these 112 minutes. Visually stunning, thanks to cinematographer Mandy Walker’s mahogany hues and production designer Melinda Doring’s dusty period recreation. We may never grasp the motivation behind the real-life Robyn Davidson’s harrowing journey, but as her surrogate “crazy camel lady,” the exceptional Ms. Wasikowska never gives cause to question veracity. An uplifting, profoundly moving experience that left me in tears, though not through any willful manipulation on the part of director John Curran. If your kids can stand two curse words, “brief partial nudity,” and a handful of “disturbing images,” there’s not a better film to take them to. 2014. (2014) — Scott Marks
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