You often hear spiritually elevated people say, “It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey,” and that philosophy is implicit in Robyn Davidson’s celebrated 1980 memoir, Tracks, and in the meditative, powerful new film directed by John Curran. This is a work in which the very premise is repeatedly called into question: Just why does Davidson (played onscreen by Mia Wasikowska) move from the big city to trek 1,700 miles across the harsh Australian desert (from dusty Alice Springs in the Northern Territories to the Indian Ocean) with only her dog, Diggity, and four demanding camels? Among the answers: to show that she—a woman—can do it on her own. To see the country and its history—particularly its treatment of the natives—in a new light. To get away from people and the niceties of civilization—to stop having to strike poses. That makes it ironic (annoyingly so) when she has to turn for underwriting to National Geographic, which sends an American photographer, Rick Smolan (Adam Driver), to check in with her periodically and, yes, make her strike poses. In the end, the point of this ridiculous, arduous, oft-interrupted odyssey turns out to be elusive—and is all the richer for it.