Glenn Close

'The Great Gilly Hopkins' is stuck in retrograde (but Kathy Bates impersonates a chicken)

'The Great Gilly Hopkins' is stuck in retrograde (but Kathy Bates impersonates a chicken)

“The Great Gilly Hopkins” is not so great. Nor is the film’s title character (Sophie Nélisse), a surly tomboy who turns miraculously obliging after failing to escape from her kindly new foster mother, Mrs. Trotter (Kathy Bates). It’s all rather fairy-tale fake.

Gilly’s mission is to reunite with birth mother Courtney (Julia Stiles), who gave her up years ago. But that’s easier said than done when Gilly’s ill-conceived plan backfires and threatens to upend her newfound comfort with Mrs. Trotter, little foster brother “W.E.” (Zachary Hernandez), a blind neighbor (Bill Cobbs), a strong-willed teacher (Octavia Spencer) and a...

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