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The Great Gilly Hopkins – movie review

Do you remember reading The Great Gilly Hopkins when you were a kid? The book, by Katherine Peterson, came out in 1979 – and it was a definite must-read.

With two boys, I’ve all but given up on passing on my beloved childhood library, but the new movie adaptation with a star-studded cast including Kathy Bates, Glen Close, Billy Cobbs, Octavia Spencer, Julia Stiles and 16-year-old Sophie Nélisse as Gilly, herself, had my whole family completely under its spell.

Released October, 2016, it’s now available on DVD, just in time for the holidays. 

Courtesy of Search Engine Films

You may want to add this one to your holiday movie list!

If you love the book, this movie won’t disappoint. And if you’ve actually somehow not read it, you’ll enjoy the well-spun story and endearing characters set against beautiful backdrops. The movie has already won The Heartland Film: Truly Moving Picture Award, and, of course, the story won numerous awards when it was released too.

I’m a cryer – and this one has more than one tear-jerker moment. It stirred up the same emotions it did when I originally read the book some 30-ish years ago, only as an adult, there are so many nuances of the story that I really didn’t get as a pre-teen girl. And it was so nice to visit with a childhood fave.

The movie is a great watch. My boys loved it, my hubs loved it, and I watched it a second time after they all went to bed. The characters bring the story to life. You cheer for W.E. You feel for Gilly. You are surprisingly annoyed by Agnes.

Sophie’s talent is obvious as she brings her character to life. You start off hating Gilly and end up loving her, while your fondness and respect for Trotter just grows and grows. Hollywood has done this one up with heart and charm. It’s modernized the setting without stripping anything back from the story.

Grab it from iTunes: The Great Gilly Hopkins
Or Amazon, released December 13, 2016: The Great Gilly Hopkins

Nationwide you can pick it up at HMV and Walmart; in Quebec only at: Archambault, Renaud Bray & Superclub Videotron.