Based on a true story, TRUE SPIRIT follows 16-year-old Jessica Watson as she tries to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Jessica faces setbacks in training, a hostile media, violent storms, and loneliness. However, she relies on her family, her coach and her skills to pursue her goal. While at sea, Jessica encounters the beauty of the ocean and writes and videos her experiences. Unknown to her, her story inspires the world. Eventually, she faces the most challenging storm, and her boat springs a leak. Should she abandon her goal and return to shore? Or, continue to risk her life and try to finish her journey?
Gripping and exciting, TRUE SPIRIT has a strong moral worldview stressing family relationships, hard work, courage, and perseverance. The movie also shows it’s important for young people to listen to the wisdom of those older than themselves. However, a few silly superstitious references to Mother Nature add an unfortunate pagan element to the story. TRUE SPIRIT has intense sailing action scenes and brief foul language. So, Movieguide® advises caution for older children.
(BB, Pa, FR, L, V, N):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Strong moral worldview that promotes familial love, hard work and overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, but a few references to the non-existent new age “Mother Nature” add a regrettable false, pagan element
Two “d” words, one “h” word and one GD profanity, plus heroine gets sea sick and vomits
Light adventure violence and peril as heroine is thrown around inside her boat, heroine gets a small cut and bleeds after a cargo ship runs into her boat, a woman hits a man on the arm in rebuke, and siblings dialogue playfully over a phone
No explicit nudity but heroine is seen wearing a bikini top three times, and once she’s covered by a lifejacket
No alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
A daughter sasses and disobeys her mother.
Based on the 2009 true story, TRUE SPIRIT follows 16-year-old Australian Jessica Watson as she tries to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. As she faces setbacks in training, a hostile media, violent storms, and loneliness, her family, her coach and her skills help her pursue her goal.
The movie begins with Jessica on a training sail in preparation for the real event. While she takes a nap, a cargo ship runs into her because she didn’t turn on her alarms, and she returns to port with a wrecked ship, whereupon her coach scolds her for not following protocols.
After the wreck, the media go on the attack, and the government plans to put legislation in place so she won’t be able to sail around the world because of her age. However, her family and trainer pull together a team to repair her boat, and Jessica sets sail.
While at sea, Jessica encounters the beauty of the ocean, deals with loneliness and depression, faces intense storms, and writes and videos her experiences. Unknowingly, her perseverance and determination make her a worldwide inspiration.
Flashback scenes provide background into her relationship with sailing and her sailing coach, Ben. Through the flashbacks, viewers also learn that Jessica deals with dyslexia and was homeschooled. She was inspired to sail solo around the world after reading about another person’s experience doing it. So, since she was a child, she has passionately pursued that goal.
Eventually, Jessica faces the most challenging storm yet, and her boat springs a leak. Should she abandon her goal and return to shore? Or, should continue to risk her life and try to finish her journey?
TRUE SPIRIT is gripping and exciting. It has relatively high production values. Occasionally, though, some CGI images, like the cargo ship and a few lighting moments, take the viewer out of the story. For the most part, the acting in TRUE SPIRIT is engaging, but the acting from some of the minor characters isn’t fully believable. Overall, however, the sailing scenes, ocean images and home-life scenes captivate the viewer, making Jessica’s experience feel real.
TRUE SPIRIT has a strong moral worldview that values family, hard work, commitment, courage, and perseverance during difficult situations. Throughout, Jessica’s family and her coach encourage her to keep working at her goal. The movie also shows that it’s important for young people to listen to the wisdom of those older than themselves, and that failure to do so will result in consequences. Regrettably, Jessica is encouraged to work with new age and nonexistent Mother Nature a few times, rather than the one True Triune God, and characters foolishly blame Mother Nature for the storms. These references add an unfortunate pagan, superstitious element to the story. TRUE SPIRIT also has three light obscenities, one GD profanity and some intense sailing scenes. So, Movieguide® advises caution for older children.
We are a crowdfunded organization, supported by people like you. These are some of the reasons why our supporters choose to give.
"The honest reviews so we know the rating and why/content to make the best decision. "
You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.
Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.
Do you enjoy articles like this?
Enjoy articles like this? Sign up for our mailing list to receive the latest news, interviews, and movie reviews for families: