Insomnia File #59: True Spirit (dir by Sarah Spillane)

What’s an Insomnia File? You know how some times you just can’t get any sleep and, at about three in the morning, you’ll find yourself watching whatever you can find on cable or Netflix? This feature is all about those insomnia-inspired discoveries!

If you were having trouble getting to sleep last night (or this night, for that matter), you could have turned over to Netflix and passed the time watching True Spirit, a rather wholesome biopic from Australia.

Teagan Croft stars as Jessica Watson, who, at the age of 16, became the youngest person ever to sail solo, non-stop around the world.  For Jessica, it was not only the fulfilment of a childhood dream but it was also a true test of survival as, towards the end of her journey, she got trapped in a very violent storm and, at one point, her boat was actually 15 feet below the surface of the ocean.  For the nation of Australia, it was a moment of great pride despite the fact that many of the same people who celebrated Jessica’s accomplishment had earlier tried to prevent her from making the journey.  (Indeed, the film suggests that one reason why Jessica was in such a hurry to start her voyage was because the Queensland legislature was literally putting together a bill that, once passed, would have made it illegal for her to do so.)  The film begins with Jessica already in training for her voyage.  One mistake during a trial run leads to her boat nearly crashing into a tanker, a reminder that, as beautiful as the ocean may be, it can still be a dangerous place.  With the help of Ben Bryant (Cliff Curtis) and the support her parents (Anna Paquin and Josh Lawson), Jessica is determined to make her voyage.  She not only wants to set a world record but she also wants to prove that, even though she’s dyslexic, she can still accomplish anything that she sets her mind too.

There’s really nothing that surprising to be found in True Spirit.  Even if you didn’t already know the true story on which the film was based, you wouldn’t be surprised by how Jessica’s voyage goes.  But, at the same time, it’s a well-intentioned and almost achingly sincere film, one that celebrates a worthy accomplishment and which features a likable lead performance from Teagan Croft.  It’s a film that is determined to focus on the positive, though it certainly doesn’t shy away from the fact that nature can be frightening and unpredictable.  There’s nothing particularly edgy about True Spirit.  Despite a nicely executed storm scene, this isn’t All is Lost.  But it will hold your attention and it’ll probably leave you in a good mood.  It did for me!

Finally, I can’t complete this review without mentioning that Todd Lasance plays a rather obnoxious television journalist named Atherton.  Would it be too much to hope that his name was meant to be a reference to William Atherton, who played a similar reporter in the first two Die Hards?

Previous Insomnia Files:

  1. Story of Mankind
  2. Stag
  3. Love Is A Gun
  4. Nina Takes A Lover
  5. Black Ice
  6. Frogs For Snakes
  7. Fair Game
  8. From The Hip
  9. Born Killers
  10. Eye For An Eye
  11. Summer Catch
  12. Beyond the Law
  13. Spring Broke
  14. Promise
  15. George Wallace
  16. Kill The Messenger
  17. The Suburbans
  18. Only The Strong
  19. Great Expectations
  20. Casual Sex?
  21. Truth
  22. Insomina
  23. Death Do Us Part
  24. A Star is Born
  25. The Winning Season
  26. Rabbit Run
  27. Remember My Name
  28. The Arrangement
  29. Day of the Animals
  30. Still of The Night
  31. Arsenal
  32. Smooth Talk
  33. The Comedian
  34. The Minus Man
  35. Donnie Brasco
  36. Punchline
  37. Evita
  38. Six: The Mark Unleashed
  39. Disclosure
  40. The Spanish Prisoner
  41. Elektra
  42. Revenge
  43. Legend
  44. Cat Run
  45. The Pyramid
  46. Enter the Ninja
  47. Downhill
  48. Malice
  49. Mystery Date
  50. Zola
  51. Ira & Abby
  52. The Next Karate Kid
  53. A Nightmare on Drug Street
  54. Jud
  55. FTA
  56. Exterminators of the Year 3000
  57. Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster
  58. The Haunting of Helen Walker

One response to “Insomnia File #59: True Spirit (dir by Sarah Spillane)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review: 2/6/23 — 2/12/23 | Through the Shattered Lens

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