The Great Gilly Hopkins

Reviewed
Sun. 8/13/17
The Great Gilly Hopkins
3.1666666666667
Acting
3
3/5
Morality
4.5
4.5/5
Music
3
3/5
Story
3.5
3.5/5
Visuals
2.5
2.5/5
Kernel Factor
2.5
2.5/5
A helpful perspective on foster care
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
Viewing Environment:
DVD or Streaming >27in
Viewing Crew:
Significant Other
Times Watched:
1
Genre:
Comedy
Payment Method:
Rental/Redbox
Review:

The Great Gilly Hopkins is the story of a young teenage foster girl, who is constantly at odds with the system. She is finally placed in a home that chooses to love and support her, despite her rude and selfish behavior. All she wants is a relationship with her biological mother. She tries to take things into her own hands to be reunited with her mom while pushing against every form of acceptance and love from other people. I think this story needs to be told, and it wisely addresses several points of foster care that are important for people to know and see. This film will get reviews that are all over the place, and I would suggest that's because people have so many different pre-conceived notions and experiences of and with foster care. To me, this film approached much of the challenging content accurately. It's not so much a film to be liked as it is a film to start a conversation, which I really appreciated about it. Although the film is not entertaining, you will like it more if you come in with an open mind and willingness to discuss and think about something challenging. I'd be interested to hear the reactions of foster care parents and case workers to this film. I'd recommend it to those interested in foster care as well as how to live out your faith in the face of adversity. I found Kathy Bates character to be one of the more inspiring Christian characters I've seen in a movie in recent memory.

Acting
A lead character who isn't likeable is a tough movie to like. Overall, this movie is well cast and everyone plays well to their stereotype/role, possibly overdone at points.
Morality
This movie goes there. It brings up a topic hardly discussed on the silverscreen, foster care, and honestly takes it on. To me, given the subject matter, it should not be rated PG. Gilly (main character) is also not the most gentle, and could give off a very wrong impression to kids. I loved how Christianity was put on display in this film, and I love how it was questioned by the lead actress. 
Music
I liked their use of a couple lyrical songs and the rest of it was good as well.
Story
The story actually kept me guessing and I believe rightly portrays a version of foster care. There are some blatant themes and overt stereotypes - yet I don't think they ever go too far - this story isn't for everyone, but I found myself engaged throughout. 
Visuals
Pretty bland and some obvious mistakes from a filming standpoint (shadows in faces/shots from poor lighting). Just nothing special here, not that it needed it, but it was very average. 
Kernel Factor
Please change the name and branding of this movie. I had a very different interpretation of what I was watching before I turned this thing on, and it hurt my review. You sort of need to be prepared to watch this film because it's heavier than you might think.

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