"Finally Finding Family"
What You Need To Know:
THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS is one of those unique teenage character movies that’s real, emotional, sometimes funny, and captivating. It pulls at the heartstrings. The direction is terrific, and every actor in the movie is excellent. Kathy Bates is such a wonderful Christian that she’s totally unlike the actress we’ve interviewed several times. Regrettably, Gilly uses some obscenities and a suggested profanity that’s sternly rebuked. Otherwise, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS is a wonderful story for all teenagers.
(CC, BB, L, V, M) Strong Christian worldview about an orphan girl who finally finds her family, with strong references to Jesus and Christian characters, in contrast to the girl’s rebellion; nine obscenities, a suggested profanity is seriously rebuked and the suggestion of the “n” word; several fight scenes where a young girl beats up on classmates; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, stealing, lying, running away, but all rebuked or resolved at the end.
THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS is a powerful, emotional movie about a young girl, who’s buffeted about by the foster care system and is desperately trying to find her mother. It’s an inspiring story that will make you laugh and cry.
The movie opens with 12-year-old Gilly being driven to her new foster care home by her caseworker Mr. Ellis. When she gets to the new home, Gilly’s in total rebellion mode, especially because her new foster care mother, Maime Trotter, is a seriously devout, loving Christian who refuses to give up on children. Maime tells Mr. Ellis she’s never lost a child yet. Gilly, however, wants to be the child who proves Trotter, as she calls Maime, wrong.
Maime has another child in custody named William Ernest, who has serious personality difficulties. Gilly perceives this and immediately tries to intimidate Ernest behind Maime’s back. When Gilly takes the Lord’s name in vain, Maime says she can’t do that in this Christian home.
Gilly is too smart for her own good and believes this weird foster family is going to be easy pickings. When she goes to school, she immediately bullies the one girl who tries to befriend her and starts a fight with several other classmates at the same time. Some of the classmates she seriously hurts.
Across the street from the Trotters is their blind African American neighbor, Mr. Randolph.
Gilly’s African American teacher recognizes Gilly is extremely smart but in total rebellion. For instance, she purposely fails exams and uses the “n” word. The teacher sets her down and says, “We both have something in common. We’re both angry, but, while I buried my anger so deep that it hurts, you let it out.”
Throughout all these incidents and episodes, Gilly is trying to find her mother who abandoned her. When she gets her first postcard from her mother in San Francisco, she starts stealing from Mr. Randolph across the street to buy a bus ticket.
Of course, at the bus station, the police arrest Gilly, and her rebellious ways are made known to Maime, who again tries to overcome Gilly’s rebellion with Christian love. Gilly writes a letter to her mother, saying that Mrs. Trotter, Mr. Randolph and everyone else are abusive, psychotic religious fanatics. Somehow, the letter gets into the hands of Gilly’s biological grandmother, a wealthy woman, and Mr. Ellis tells Gilly that her grandmother wants to adopt her.
By now, however, the Christian faith of Mr. Randolph and Maime, and the naïve love of Ernest, has transformed Gilly. She now doesn’t want to leave, but the question still remains, will she ever find her mother? Will she ever find her family? Will she ever find God’s love?
THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS is one of those unique teenage character movies that’s real, emotional, sometimes funny, and captivating. It pulls at the heartstrings, just as BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA did. The direction is terrific, and every actor in the movie is excellent. Kathy Bates is such a wonderful Christian that she’s totally unlike the actress we’ve interviewed several times.
Regrettably, Gilly uses some obscenities and a suggested profanity that’s sternly rebuked. With all the castoff children in our society and all those children who’ve never experienced the love of Christ, THE GREAT GILLY HOPKINS would be a wonderful movie for them to see.
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