Directed by Peter WeirUnited States, United Arab Emirates | 2010
It’s in the desert that the seeds of character development finally bear fruit. We see the group struggle to find water. Mister Smith spots an oasis to the east, but is begged by Janusz to continue south as he thinks it a mirage. After an arduous montage, there’s a brief respite at the oasis, merely a water well and a few skinny trees. The survival motif truly reaches harrowing levels after this, with some of the party dying before they leave the desert. One of these death scenes, in particular, is beautifully composed while heartbreaking and all by itself redeems the slow build-up. At this point, Weir’s characters have earned our investment in their journey, but, sadly, the reward for our patience is their agony and demise.