The Great Gilly Hopkins (2015) Script

Smile, huh?

I'm serious.

You got to make this work. This is it. Last chance.

Lighten up, e. I'm sure this will work out.

You're not getting it.

You burn out here and you'll be put in the Murray hill teen facility.

I don't want that, and I'm sure you don't want that.

Good morning, miss Trotter.

Well, I thought I heard you all pull up.

Welcome to Thompson park, Gilly, honey.

Well, excuse me.

You want to meet your new sister, don't you?

Gilly, this is William Ernest t.

We called him W.E.


Y'all come on in.

Turn loose my leg, honey, so I can maneuver.

Come on in, you all.

Is that a moustache on your face, Mr. Ellis?

Yes. I almost didn't recognize you.

You know, my Melvin had one. I made him shave it off.

Yeah, this will all be on file.

Mr. Ellis, I've been doing this so long I practically got it memorized.

Do you have cats?

What, honey?


No, sweetie.

Smells like you do.


William Ernest, do you want to go upstairs and show Gilly her room?

Well, we'll do that later.

Well, we've been meaning to rearrange the dust around here, haven't we, William Ernest?

Social services will send Gilly's medical information to the school.

Gilly has no allergies...

To cats or dust, thankfully.

Yes, Gilly is very self-sufficient, very... very independent.

William Ernest, you all right?

You know how to reach me?

Of course I do.

Yeah, this is my cell number right there.

Everything's going to be just fine.

Okay, yes, yes.

Gilly, uh... I'll see you.

Be good, please.

Don't you worry none, Mr. Ellis.

I think Gilly and William Ernest and me is nearly friends already.

My Melvin, god rest him, used to say I never met a child I couldn't make friends with.

Oh, I believe that.


You need anything, you just give old Trotter a holler.

The TV's downstairs.

You're welcome to come on down to watch.

This is your home too now.

It's going to be okay, honey.

I know it must have been hard switching all around.

I like moving.

It's boring to stay in one place.

This way I get to see more of the world.

Well, welcome to our little corner of it.

Now, you make yourself at home, you hear?

I'm making, okay?

Mom, if you only knew where they've put me.

If you only knew.

William Ernest is in the living room watching telly's trolley.

You're welcome to join him if you like.

Why in the world would I ever watch a retard show like that?

Listen here, miss Gilly Hopkins.

One thing we better get straight right here tonight.

I won't have you making fun of that boy.

Just because somebody ain't quite as smart as you don't give you no right to look down on him.

Who am I looking down on?

You just said. You just said William Ernest is retarded.

I did not. I don't even know the kid.

I've never seen him before today.

I just don't want to watch a stupid kid's show.

He's had a rough time in this world, but he's with Trotter now.

And as long as the lord keeps him in this house and sees fit that I take care of him, ain't nobody on this earth going to hurt him again.

Nobody, in any way.

God, all I was trying to... One more thing.

In this house, we don't take the lord's name in vain.

All right, all right, already. Forget it.

Supper's almost ready.

Why don't you go get Mr. Randolph.


He eats with us at night.

I was going to send William Ernest to fetch him, but I think you'd be a nice surprise.

William Ernest, is that you?

No, it's me.

Oh. You must be the new girl. Welcome.

My name's Mr. Reginald Randolph, and it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance.

Yeah, well, Trotter sent me over here to take you to supper.

Oh, thank you. Thank you kindly.

No sweat.

Oh! Watch it, watch it.

Thank you.


This little angel kept me from falling flat on my face.

Well, I guess this old house will be a little livelier now, eh, Mrs. Trotter?

I wouldn't be surprised, Mr. Randolph.

Would you like to say grace, Gilly?

Mrs. Trotter, it would be my pleasure to pass a blessing on this bountiful feast.

Well, thank you, Mr. Randolph.

Dear lord, we thank you for this most bountiful feast, and for the gift and privilege to share it with the newest addition to our family.



Where are you, mom?

I imagine you're doing something incredibly exciting right now.

I wish I knew where you were so I could tell you that I'm stuck in another place where I hate everybody.

I won't be here long and I'll do whatever I can to find you, and we can be a family.


I thought you might like to be tucked in.

I don't get tucked, thank you.

Well, then may I come in?

The door was closed for a reason.

I'm trying to go to sleep.

All right, then. Good night.

What do I always say?

Common denominators are our friends.

Yes, common denominators are our friends.

Oh, welcome.

I'm miss Harris.

Galadriel Hopkins.

What a beautiful name.

From Tolkien, of course.

No, Sherman school.

Galadriel is the name of a great queen in a book by a man named Tolkien.

Well, I'd rather be called Gilly.

Well, Gilly it is then.

Gilly, why don't you take that empty seat next to Monica Bradley.

Oh, here.

We're on page 27.

Now, who can find the common denominator of this equation?

Oh, oh, oh, oh, Rajeem.

I know you're probably playing catch up.

Did you work on divisional fractions at your last school?



Why don't you pull your chair up to my desk and we'll work on it.

Push your chairs in, people.

I know who you are.

Oh, yeah? Who am I?

You're the new kid. I saw you in the cafeteria.

I get free lunch too.

I'm very happy for you.

I'm Agnes. I'm sorry.

You going to tell me your name?

Well, you going to get out of my face?

Hey, don't push me. What's your problem?

My problem?

My problem is a whiny little busybody named Agnes who can't take a hint.

I thought since you was new you might want a friend to show you around.

Well, how about no.

You're bothering me, so beat it.


A little help?


Hey, hey!

Hey, get her!

Hey, get back here!


I know you're new to all this, but we have a zero tolerance policy at this school.

We're not going to put up with fighting on the playground or anywhere else around here.

I think you need to understand that, Gilly.

You're at a new school now.

You have a chance to make a new start.

If there's anything you want to talk about...

I'm okay.

I'm fine.

Look, if you don't want help, there's no way I can make you accept it, but you're not going to turn this school or my class into a zoo.

I've decided for the next few recess periods, you can use the time to catch up on math.


Rajeem has kindly offered to work with you during that time, so starting tomorrow you are to come back here following lunch.

The law requires me to have recess.

No, actually it doesn't.

What do you want?

Nothing. Just walking home.

That was great, you beating up those five boys.

Six. One ran away.

I thought you and me should get together.

Since you don't know anybody and I've been here a while, I could... I don't need to know anybody.

I'm not here for long.

You still haven't told me your name.

Duh, you're real quick.

So, you're not going to tell me?

If I tell you, will you leave me alone?

My name is Gilly. Gilly Hopkins. You got that?

You can call me Ag if you want.

Want to come over? My dad won't mind.

Can't. I'm almost home.

William Ernest, honey, is that you?


Oh, Gilly, honey, how was school today?

Did you make any new friends?


Gilly, wait a minute, honey.

You've got some mail.

It's a postcard.

Came this morning.

"My dearest Galadriel, "the agency told me you had moved.

"I wish it were to here.

I miss you. All my love, Courtney."

Anything I can do for you, hon?

Can anyone have any privacy in this dump?

Well, I just want to make sure you're all right.

I will be as soon as you get your fat self out of here.

We'll be downstairs.

Dinner will be ready in a little while.

I don't need help from anybody!

Except from you, mom.

If I can find you, write to you, and if I ask, would you come and get me?

I'd be good for you.

I'd change into a whole new person.

I'd turn from gruesome Gilly into good, glamorous, gorgeous Galadriel.

Let's go home, baby.

San Francisco.

Well, miss Gilly, how's school for you today?

I've seen better.

God, you young people have such an opportunity today.

When I was in school...

Thank you, Mrs. Trotter.

Oh, and the ketchup, please.

What's new, doo-doo?

What's wrong, William Ernest?

Honey, did something go down the wrong pipe?

Do you want me to SWAT him one on the back to knock it loose?

Nobody's gonna hit you, honey.

Everybody's just trying to help.

Ain't that right, Gilly?

Just trying to help you, little buddy.

He don't always know that.

Well, I got your back, W.E.

I got an idea, Mr. Randolph.

Since Gilly's feeling so helpful, maybe she'd like to read for us.


Would you do that, miss Gilly?

It would be such a pleasure to me.

I don't have anything to read.

Mr. Randolph has enough books to keep you busy for a thousand years.

I do have a few.

Of course there's a Bible right here.

I'll get a book.

Freaking blind people.

What is he, a librarian?

Gilly, honey, are you in here?

Mr. Randolph was worried maybe all the bulbs had burnt out.

He tends to forget since they don't really help him much.

Well, there's enough light here.

If there hadn't been, I would have gone back.

I'm not retarded.

I believe you mentioned that before.

Did you find something to read for Mr. Randolph?

Got one right here.

The Oxford book of English verse.

I'll give it a whirl.

What lovely reading material did you bring us?

It's them poems we was reading last year, Mr. Randolph.

English poems.

Page 357, William Wordsworth.

"There was a time when Meadow..." found it.

"There was a time when Meadow, grove and stream, "the earth and every common sight

"to me did seem, "appareled in celestial light, the glory and the freshness of a dream."

Oh, yes, yes.

"It is not now as it hath been of yore, "turn wheresoe'er I may by night or day.

"The things which I have seen..."

I now can see no more." "I now can see no more."

Go on, child.

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting

"the soul that rises with us, our life's star.

"Hath had elsewhere its setting

"and cometh from afar.

"Not in entire forgetfulness and not in utter nakedness, "but trailing clouds of glory do we come

"from god who is our home.

"Thanks to the human heart by which we live.

"Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears.

"To me the meanest flower that blows

"can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."

Miss Gilly, that was lovely.

He sure is a handsome reader.

Miss Gilly, how to do you feel about Mr. Wordsworth?

Weird, and it makes no sense.

"Cometh from afar"? "Nakedness"?

That's some weird sh...


Yeah, and right here...

"The meanest flower."

Whoever heard of a mean flower?

The word "mean" has other definitions, miss Gilly.

The poet is talking about humility, loneliness, not bad nature.

Well, I've never seen a flower blow either.


That may be exactly the flower that Mr. Wordsworth was thinking about.

It surly is one of the lowest flowers.

And they sure do blow.

Yes. Just like William Ernest says, they blow all over the place.

Yes. Isn't W.E. Impressive, Gilly?

I didn't know he could even speak.

Oh, our little W can speak, bless him.

He just chooses his times. Special moments.

Howdy, partner.

Funny how we keep running into each other.

Yeah, it's freaking hilarious.

What do you think of coach Delaney?

I don't see how she can be our gym teacher when she smokes.

I mean, I've never seen her smoke, but Darlene wicker said she saw her at the mall, and she was... Agnes, I've grown to hate you!

Now, I know we've known each other for the briefest of time, but if you open that freaking piehole one more time, I'm going to shove my fist right down it, tear out your tongue, and mail it to Mars.

Now, if you speak, it'll be your last words on this planet.

And we have an apple.

And a "sandywhich."

And a juicy box.

Hey. W.E., head inside.

I said... Hang on there, dumbo.

W.E., it's fine. Go inside.

What did you call me? Listen, ears Magee, it's like 8:00 A.M.

You already finish off your own lunch?

Or did you misplace it? Can I check behind the ears?


You have big-ass ears!

Shut up, you two.

All right, sweetie... aah!

Nobody calls me "sweetie."

I get enough of that crap at home.

I think you broke my leg.

It's called a shin kick, Spock.

Now, if I ever see you even near that kid, you'll wish the gods above had never let your parents meet.

You should put some ice on that or you'll have a wicked bruise.

Who are you?

Name's Hopkins.

Gilly Hopkins.

Now, don't get any ideas of me liking you or us being buddies or anything like that.

People just got to understand that if anyone's going to be picking on you, it's going to be me.

Got that?


Do you have your math book?

Why would you want to do this? Tutor me?

I offer to help tutor anyone in class for miss Harris for extra credit.

Do you need extra credit?


Well, it's like using three pieces of bread for a sandwich.

Doesn't make much sense.

I'm sorry, a sandwich?

How about I call you loaf? That work for you?

No. Loaf it is.

Let's just do this.

Very interesting perspective, Gilly.

There's no marks on it. Why don't I get an a-plus?

I said it was very interesting, but it's not brilliant.

But give yourself some time.

You're new here.


Hey, Gilly.

Are you freaking stalking me?

No. I was in the neighborhood and wanted to visit.

Yeah, well, hey, I'm great.

Nice visit. Now just leave me alone.

Come on, Gilly, I just want to know how you're doing.

Yeah, so you can pretend to care.

Forget it.

Okay, this is hard having a conversation like this.

Can you please get in the car?

Gilly, can you please get in the car?

No. Why?

Because of your accident. What accident?


I don't understand.

Listen, I'm sorry.

Your car... Your car is fine.

Mine is...

You don't need...

"Last known address, 32 cardinal Lane, apartment 1A, San Francisco, California."


How's it been making friends at school?


How's miss Harris? Is she...

Fine. Gilly...

Answering "fine" to every question I ask you is not what I want from you.

What do you want from me?

I want to know you're okay.

Well, I'm better than your car.

Is that you, William Ernest, honey?

No, it's me, Maime Trotter, sweetie, baby.

How about some of Trotter's famous chocolate chip cookies?

Nah. I'm dieting.

Are you sure?

I'm sure, Trotter, sugar pie, honeybunch.

I'm too smart to be bought by chocolate chip cookies.

Nice try, Maime.

You're going to have to try a lot harder to slip old Gilly up.

There's got to be more.

How to get it?

I could use Agnes to help me get Randolph's loot, but with that mouth...

I need someone who won't talk.

Somebody who can't talk.


Oh, boy. Oh, boy. Oh, boy.

Me going to have nice picnic.

Yeah, me got everything me need.

We have cookies.

And more cookies.

And me got some more cookies.

And... Ah, me got more cookies!

Boy, I hope I can find somebody to help me fly this sucker.

Man, I just can't get the hang of this airplane tossing stuff.

Do you want to give it a try?

Pow! It flies really good.

No, that's you, W.E.

You throw really good.

I was just admiring your style.

You've had lessons.

No? You just taught yourself?

No fooling?

Gee, man, you're a real natural.

Hey, Trotter, you've got to see this.

W.E. Can do this real good.


Watch me.

We're watching, William Ernest, honey.

W.E. Has a paper airplane.


How was it?

Oh, Mr. Randolph, I never thought paper airplanes was good for anything except maybe driving teachers crazy.

Thank you.


Mr. Randolph, how about me helping you to the dining room?

Well, thank you, miss Gilly.

I want to see it one more time, William Ernest.

So, first...

What's the matter, W.E.?

I "broked" it.

Let me see.

It's ruined.

Oh, man, this is nothing. We can fix this right up.

But it's not perfect anymore.

Perfect? W.E., it wasn't perfect to begin with.

Besides, nobody likes perfect.

Really? Yeah.

Think of this little old tear as a battle scar.

Battle scar? Yeah.

Like in world war ii, there'd be these planes that would come back from bombing missions, and they'd be all banged up.

Missing parts of their tails, holes in the wings, really beat up.

But you know what?

They were the tough suckers.

They flew better than all the other planes that looked perfect.

Their pilots didn't want the planes that were all new.

They trusted their busted up planes.

They liked their battle scars.

You'll see. We'll fly it tomorrow before going to school.

Battle scar.


Now go to bed.

Battle scar.


What do you want?

Can I sit with you?

These are all taken.

It was a joke, you spaz.

You can sit here if you want.

Let's start with small sentences.



The absolute value of a number is the distance between the number and zero on the number line.

Now to page 34.

I think we're done here.

But we have a quiz. I know what I'm doing.

Turning in blank papers. Drives them crazy.

Works every time.

But that doesn't reflect well on me.

I'm your tutor.

Your failure demonstrates I failed in educating you.

Are you freaking kidding me?

When did this become about you?

I have a reputation. As the king of math nerds?

Oh, nice title, raj.

Seriously, why would anybody need to know how to divide one-third by two-fifteenths?

I'm not sure if we necessarily need to question the reason for the equation.

Yeah, that's how the Nazis got started.

Just do it and don't ask why.


Nazis were huge mathematicians, by the way.

A new strategy, I see.

A's to F's.

But you didn't fail completely.

See? You got your plus.

Got your name right on all of them.

So, if you were attempting to succeed in 100% failure, your attempts were flawed.

In order to get a zero grade, you should follow the efforts of Jimmy here and cheat.

Or be like Mr. Ramirez and simply not turn anything in.


Hold up already! Why are you so pissed off?

She knows I'm the smartest in the class, and she knows I failed on purpose.

Why are you getting so wound up about Harris?

Because she's trying to do one of these reverse "psychologic" things.

Maybe you just don't like black people.

That's not it, you dummy.

Oh, wait.

You going to call me something worse?

No, no. Actually, I take that back.

You're a genius.

Really? Agnes, could you believe that your little bit of misguided lunacy may actually help me?

So, am I a genius or a loony? I got to go.

Hey, wait. Which am I?

For every action there is an equal and opposite what?


Oh, you can do better.

For every action there is an equal and opposite what?

Reaction. All right.

Gilly, would you mind waiting a moment, please?

Study those vocabulary words in chapter three, because there might be a pop quiz tomorrow, forewarned.

Look it up if you don't know what it means. Forewarned.

"To miss Harris.

"They say black is beautiful, "but the best I can figure is anybody saying that looks awfully like a..."

A blank space was left.

I'm assuming for me to finish it, hmm?

Believe it or not, Gilly, you and I are very much alike.


Both of us are smart and we know it.

But the thing that brings us closer than intelligence is anger.

You and I are two of the angriest people I know.

Oh, I was always taught to deny mine, which I did and still do.

And that makes me envy you.


See, your anger is still right up here on the surface, where you can look it in the face.

Make friends with it, honey.

Channel it for your own design.


But I didn't ask you to stay after school to tell you how intelligent you are or how much I envy you, but to thank you for your card.

Oh, Gilly, I took it to the teacher's lounge at noon...

And cursed creatively for over 20 minutes.

Oh, I haven't felt so good in years.


So, I will see you tomorrow.

Thanks again.

Thanks, Gilly.

Hey, Gilly.

I need to know how much a cross-country ticket costs to San Francisco from Maryland.

One-way to San Francisco, that'll run you $189.

Trotter and Mr. Randolph leave yet for the store?

Yeah, and to welfare to get money.

Mr. Randolph wants me to do him a favor while they're out.

Okay, now Randolph doesn't want Trotter to know about this.

This is kind of a surprise, so it'll be our little secret for now, okay?


See up there?

That red book on the shelf?

I can't reach it.

Then we're both going to have to do it.

Come on.

I still can't reach it.

Okay, I'm getting scared.

Think of how proud everybody's going to be after, when the surprise can be told and everything, and they found out who was climbing...

I still can't reach it, though.

I know. Just pull it out.

You have nothing to worry about.


Let me see, let me see. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa! Whoa! Ow!

Stop. Calm down.

Is there any more?

No, I don't think so.

Okay, let's go back down.


Oh, you forgot some.

Thank you. Come on, hurry up.

I'll give the money to Randolph later.

You can go back to playing.

I got to straighten up my room.

And remember, this is our own secret surprise.

Our secret, okay.

Twenty-five bucks.

Get my hair torn out, and I can only get as far as the Mississippi river.

Brilliant, Gilly. Just brilliant.

Dear Courtney Rutherford Hopkins, I received your card.

I'm sorry to bother you with my problems, but as my real mother, I feel you have the right to know about your daughter's situation.

At the present time I'm very desperate, or I would not bother you.

Churchill downs event...

The foster mother is a religious fanatic.

Her house is filthy.

She has weird friends who show up at weird hours of the night.

I practically live in a closet and share a bug infested bathroom with another kid here whom I'm expected to take care of, which is very hard with all my schoolwork, which is very excessive from a very mean teacher.

I saved up $65 towards my ticket to California.

The full cost is $189.

If you can send me the rest, I'll get a job in California when I get there and pay you back.

I'm very smart and I can take care of myself, so I will not be a burden to you in any way.

Yours sincerely, your loving daughter, Galadriel Hopkins.

There's a sweet car in front of Mr. Randolph's house.


Mr. Randolph won't be joining us tonight.

His son's in town, cleaning up his daddy's place.

Some of those rooms haven't been touched in years.

He's going to find out I stole the money.

He's calling the cops right now.

I, uh...

I just got to take some stuff over to Agnes's.

Don't go. I'm not.

Don't tell Trotter. This is part of our secret.

Thanks, Agnes.

You're, like, really brave or crazy.

The crazy one calling me crazy.

That's crazy.

Thanks for pretending to be my friend.


Ticket to San Francisco, please.

Round trip?

No, one way.

Are you here by yourself?

Me? Uh...


My mother's over there. She doesn't speak English.

Dad's second wife.

She already has her ticket. She needs me to get mine.

I can't wait to ride a cable car.

Computer's down.

It's going to probably take me a couple of minutes.

Oh, okay.

You going on a long trip, honey.

You might want to take a look at those books over there.

I don't read books.

It's a shame.

Not many people do anymore.


Never, never, never! I need you to calm down, miss Trotter.

No one is blaming you.

There is no indication of failure on your part.

I mean, I never...

I never thought Gilly would be a flight risk.

She's never done this before.

She's just a little mixed up, that's all.

Look, miss Trotter, you've been a terrific assistance to the program for years now.

I think maybe it's time. I'm not letting her go.

Then if you're not going to think for yourself, I think maybe we should think of William Ernest.

He's come too far. William Ernest was the one who told me that she'd left.

He wants her back. Yes, because...

Probably because he saw how upset you were.

Oh, come on. Yeah, I'm sorry.

He's a very sensitive child, and that's even more of a reason to remove this damaging...

William Ernest has been with me for going on nearly a year and a half.

He's going to make it. I know he will.

Sometimes, Mr. Ellis, you have to walk on your heel to favor your toe, even though you know your heel's going to get a little sore.

Well, somebody's got to favor Gilly.

She's long overdue, and I am not going to add my name to the list of people who failed her.

God knows I just about died when I found out she'd gone.

Be honest, should we consider a change, maybe for both kids?

Both? Yes.

We were just discussing the present situation, which is not a good one.

And I was explaining how sometimes children make mistakes.

Too many, in my opinion. And Mr. Ellis, you know, he was... he's willing to give you another chance.

Actually... With Thanksgiving coming and everything, and the holidays.

The holidays should not...

If you'd like to stay here with me and William Ernest, well, that's just fine.

What about my real mother?

She wants me to come to California.

If you're referring to the postcard, that's the first one in three or four years.

If your mother really wanted you there with her...

She's different this time. I know it.

She's waiting for me. She wants me to come.

She said so.

If she'd known you...

If she "knowed" what a girl she has, she'd be here in a minute.

The police said you had well over a $100 with you at the bus station.

I have trouble believing that was your own money.

So, I call taking someone else's money stealing.

So do we, Mr. Ellis.

Surely you don't think this is the first time something like this has happened to me over 20 years?

No, not at all. Well, then how about trusting me to handle it? It's not you I don't trust.

I need to hear it from Gilly.

Can I trust you?


Miss Trotter, against my better judgment, I will wait till after Thanksgiving.

But after that we will revisit this, understand?

I sure wish Trotter reacted like you did.

She's made up this huge chart for chores to make up for the money I spent on food and junk I bought.

For housework, I get paid a measly 25 cents an hour.

That's slave labor.

Oh, sorry about that slave thing.

I believe that miss Trotter feels that the payment should equate with the punishment.

If she pays you a lot, it wouldn't feel like punishment, would it?

Yeah, I guess.

But you know what?

For 75 cents an hour, I could help W.E.

With his schoolwork.

And naturally I'd be spending a lot more time with W.E.


It's just the broom, goofy.

Listen, what are you going to do when somebody socks you?

I'm not going to hit you, silly.

Are you going to go through life letting people pick on you?

I'm going to teach you how to fight.

You hear about how I fought six boys at school all by myself?

Well, before I get through with you, you're going to do the same thing.

So, first thing, when somebody yells at you, you got to stand tall.

See, they might not even want to hit you.

Stand tall, take a deep breath and say, "get the hell out of my way!"

Try it.

Hell's my way.

No, just follow me.

Get the... Get the... hell... Hell... out of my way! Out of my way.

Now yell it like you mean it, louder than you've ever yelled in your life.

Get the hell out my way!

Trotter, I'm not going to teach him how to push on people, just how to stand up for himself.

If he knows how to read and how to stick up for himself, he'll be okay.


Oh, I know you don't allow kissing, but sometimes I just haul off and go crazy.

Don't worry about it.

Come on, W.E.

Next time I'm going to teach you a shin kick.


I'm not doing extra credit anymore.

Yeah, I know.

I just wanted to say thank you for helping me catch up, not that I'm ever going to use it, the math.

But thanks anyway.

You're welcome.

Mr. Randolph?


I'm sorry, miss Gilly, is it suppertime already?


Are you okay?

Oh, I'm all right.

Just a little under the weather, I guess.

Who's that?

This was my wonderful wife of 44 years.

When I first met miss Mary, she was a dancer in a burlesque club.

She was a stripper?

No. Exotic dancer.

It was a little different back then.

She was pretty.

She was my world.

Today is our anniversary.


I know what you're thinking.

What's a crazy, old blind man doing staring at a picture he can't see?

But I can.

See, as my eyesight was going out I looked at this picture every night before I went to bed.

I know this picture better than I know myself.

I'm missing her a little bit today.

I got sick. Sorry.

You didn't do anything wrong.

I didn't get all of it in the potty.

Looks like you got most of it. Come on.

Watch it, watch it.

Come on, let's get you into bed.

Gilly, are you going to run again?


Good night.

I heard noise downstairs.

It was just me doing some laundry.

Gilly, honey, sweetie, baby, what's gotten into your sweet, little darling head to do the laundry at this godforsaken hour?

I don't know Trotter, honey, sugar, baby.

Maybe I just felt like getting some cleaning done.

Sweet dreams, honey.

Right back at you, sugarplum.


Galadriel Hopkins?

Who wants to know?

I'm your grandmother.

May I come in?

Yeah. Yeah, sure.

I am right, aren't I?

You are Galadriel?

I brought you this pie.

Courtney, your mother, left home.


She... she and I were...

It was... It was a difficult time.

I never...

It was just...

Oh, I'm not doing very well with this, am I?

Your grandfather died nearly 12 years ago.

I tried to contact your mother at the time, but I was unable to.

And then I got a letter.

A letter that was the first direct word from Courtney in over 13 years.

I didn't even know that she had a baby.

I can't imagine her not telling her father and mother something like that.

Gilly, I called you and called you.

I wet.

Oh, it's okay.

I couldn't help it.

I know, buddy. When you're sick you just can't help it.

Come on, I'll help you change, okay?

Get the hell out my way.

Excuse us for a second.

I'm... I'm very sorry. I'll... I'll be right back.

What? What is it? Oh!

What was that? Galadriel?

Galadriel! Miss Gilly!

Galadriel! Miss Gilly!

Mr. Randolph, it's okay.

I'm... I'm... I'm right here.

Nothing to worry about.

Just lie back down and get your rest, okay?

Gilly, honey, have you got company down there?

No, no.

Go back to bed, Trotter.

Bless you, child, you poor thing.

How could they have put you in place like this?

This? No, no, it's just that everyone's got the flu.

Not me, but it's... It's not always like this.

You know, the mess and all.

Trotter normally keeps it clean.

Lord, I forgot.

I forgot the Turkey. No, it's fine.

I've got everything under control.

You go back to bed, and the Turkey's already in the oven.

Oh! It's all good.

I got to... I got to... I got to sit down.

No, Trotter... No, no, no.

My head is spinning.

Whoo! I done it now. I "squisheded" you, see.

Roll over!

Oh, my god.

Oh, poor little Gilly.

Let me get my legs underneath me.

Oh, lord, help me.

I thought you said there was nobody here.

This is just a woman who used to live here.

I was just leaving.

I... I see that it's not a good time.

No, obviously not.

Okay, Trotter, you can go back to bed, and I'll be up to check on you.

And dinner will be ready in an hour.

Give her a cookie.


Don't you worry.

I am so, so sorry about all this.

I will get you out of here.

I promise you, I will.

Or we could go to my house and call people on the phone and breathe weird.

It really wigs them out.

It's dumb, Agnes. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Oh, come on, Gilly, let's do something.

You ain't done nothing with me for a long time.

But I've been busy. My family's been sick.

Oh, please.

My brother, my mother, and my uncle were sick.

I've been taking care of them.

You got a black uncle?

Yes, I do.

And me too.

It's too dumb to even talk about.

See you tomorrow, Gilly.


I bet I could beat her up.

It wouldn't be fair, you against a little puny thing.

Hi, mom.

What's the matter?

Come inside, honey.

Please, Gilly. Come inside.

I have some very cool news for you, Gilly.

My mother's coming?


No, not exactly.

Your mother is still in California.

But your grandmother, your mom's mom, called the office this morning, and she wants you to move in with her permanently.

I don't even know her.

Your mom wants you to go too. I talked to her about it.

You didn't talk to my mom. You're lying.

No, I'm not.

Then let me talk to her.

Gilly, it doesn't work that way.

They can't make me go.

Yes, Gilly, they can.

Trotter won't let them take me.

Will you, Trotter?


You said you'd never let me go.

I heard you. "Never, never, never."

That's what you said.

Don't cry, Gilly.

I'm not crying, I'm yelling.

It's going to be okay. Right, Trotter?

You tell the child what's got to be done.

Come on, W.


You seem to have changed your mind about a lot of things.

Why? Why did you write that letter?

You won't understand. I think I do, but why you won't learn from your mistakes is beyond me.

You couldn't have done a more brilliant job of screwing this up for yourself.

I mean... jeez, Gilly!

You could have stayed here.

You could have stayed here indefinitely.

They're both crazy about you.

I... I can't fix this.

That... that letter you wrote, it did some serious damage.

And not just for you. It affected all of us.

Me, Trotter, and even W.E.

Yes, the agency is considering removing William Ernest from Mrs. Trotter's care.

Why? You made some serious accusations of abuse and conditions of this home.

They can't ignore it when a foster mother... I lied!

Is a religious fanatic... Not true.

Strangers coming and going at night, forced to live in a closet... All of it, okay!

I lied about all of it!

None of it's true!

Why would anybody believe me?

I'm nobody. I'm bad, I know it.

But please don't hurt Trotter. You are not bad, but this is my job.

My hands are tied. Please don't hurt W.E.!

My boss got a copy of this letter, and there are consequences.

Do whatever you want with me.

I'll do whatever you want.

But please, please don't hurt my family.

All right.

All right, I'll see what I can do.

Your grandmother is coming to my office tomorrow.

I'll be by around 9:00 to pick you up.

Tomorrow? Yes.

Believe me, it's better this way.

Waiting around is no good in these situations.

But I got school.

They will forward your records.

I understand from miss Harris you've done quite well.

I have to admit, last month when you ran away, I thought, "here we go again."

But I was wrong.

You've done well here.

If y'all don't start eating this supper, I'm going to jump up and down on this table squawking like a 200-pound lovesick chicken.


That's a little better.

This is supposed to be a party, not some kind of funeral.

Come on, now. We got to get rid of this food.

Gilly's folks are from Loudoun county, Mr. Randolph.

Loudoun county, miss Gilly?

Oh, that's a lovely country.

We come and see your country, Gilly?

When folks leave, William Ernest, honey, you got to give them a chance to settle in.

Sometimes it's best not to go visiting right away.


Miss Gilly, I wasn't quite sure when to give this to you.

But I...

I want you to have it.

We all signed our names in it for you.

Gilly, honey, can I come in?

I know I'm not supposed to let on how I feel.

I got no blood claim on you.

And it's killing me to let you go.

I'm not going to go. They can't make me.

No, baby, you got to go.

And lord forgive me for making it harder on you.

I'll come back.

I'll come back and see you all the time.

No, baby, that's not how it works.

It's like I was trying to tell you at supper.

Once you get on that old tugboat and it takes you out to the ocean liner, you got to get all the way onboard.

You can't straddle both decks.

I could.

You are going to make me proud.

I know you will.

Would you like for me to turn on the radio?

I don't mind, as long as it's not too loud.

Mr. Ellis seems like a nice person.

He thinks I may have gotten the wrong impression of the foster home he put you in.

They were all sick last week.


He tried to tell me that you really like living there, despite everything.

From your letter, i...

I lie a lot.

I'd hoped you'd be happy to come with me.

And in here is your mother's room.

You can rearrange it however you want.

I also thought maybe you would like a computer, so you can stay in touch with your friends.

What's this room?

This was Chadwell's room.

Your mother's brother.

He was your uncle.

We lost him in a war.

Can I have this room?

Sure, if you like.

Would you care for some salad?


I hope you don't mind the music.

When you're by yourself, sometimes the last thing you want to listen to is silence.

Do you like your new computer?

I'm not very familiar with them, but the man at the store said that he thought that was the right one for you.

I haven't turned it on.

Ah, well, there's time for that.

Monday you're supposed to start school, but perhaps you'd like to stay here another day and get used to your new surroundings.

Might as well get it over with.

Can I be excused? I'm not very hungry.


Miss Hopkins, it's been some time since we've seen you around here.

Yes, I just want to make sure that my granddaughter has a proper introduction to her new school.

Your granddaughter? Yes, Margaret.

This is my granddaughter Galadriel Hopkins.

Hopkins? Yes.

She's Courtney's child.


I didn't even know Courtney was married.

She wasn't.

I see.


Now, how do you spell her Christian name?






Am I going too fast, for you dear?

No. Not at all.

R, I, e, l.

Her school records will be sent to you directly.

You will see that she is extremely bright.

Well, we are looking forward to having a new Hopkins join our ranks, I'm sure.

So am I.

Gilly, you've got a package.

"Dear William Ernest, "I told you I wouldn't forget you.

"I'm good here at the farm, "but miss you all.

"They train horses to race here.

"My favorite one is called clouds of glory.

"Can you believe that?

"I know she'll win a lot of races.

"They're not our horses.

"Nonnie rents out the barn and the land.

"But there's a horse, a real pretty one, and fast, "that I call clouds of glory.

I don't actually know her real name."

"Dear miss Harris, "thank you for the letter and the Tolkien books you sent me.

"They're very exciting. I now know who Galadriel was.

"If anyone told me that I'd miss a teacher, "I'd never believe it.

"School here stinks.

"None of the teachers here are as smart as you.

"Your former student, Gilly Hopkins.

P.S., you can call me Galadriel."

What up, player?

Hey! Shut up.

Anyway, you know Clark Gibbons, the kid who smells like banana fart?

Well, he's dating... If you can call it that...

Melanie smart.

And... Let me, Taj.

You know it's raj. Whatever.

Don't "whatever" my name.

"Dear Gilly.

"Guess who got in a fight.

Our quiet little pumpkin, W.E."

Battle scar!

"He got a little busted up, "but he's going to be all right.

"Thank you for writing, darling.

"Bless you out there.

I hope you get everything you want."

All right.


No, i... I...


Yes, I will, I will. Tomorrow.


Yeah, all right.

It's going to be mean so much to...

All right.


Yes, yes, I...

All right.


Hello, Courtney.


This is Galadriel.


Hi, there.

She's almost as tall as I am.

She's a lovely girl.

Well, of course she is.

She's mine, isn't she?

Well, let's get your luggage.

I got it. This is it.

I... I don't understand.

Well, I'm only coming for two days.

Two days?

But you said...

I told you on the phone that I would come for Christmas and see for myself how the kid was doing.

Yes, but when I sent you the money, you said...

I know what I said.

Oh, wait. It has been 13 years.

You still think that you can tell me what to do.

I'm not. I'm sorry.

Please, let's not have a scene here.


Can we get out of here?

I have to go to the bathroom.

What? You started it.

You're tired from the trip.

I'm not drunk or high, if that's what you're saying.

It's not what I'm saying.

Please just don't search for reasons to fight me.

Then don't shame me in front of my own kid.

You did enough of that with me when I was here.

I don't need any more of it.

So, you just came for the money.

Wow, you are such a...



Gilly and I, we thought we were coming to get her mother.

My daughter.

Were we wrong?

I'm here, aren't I?

Are you really here?

Who are you?

What am I going to say to her?


I want to come back.

Oh, honey.

I want to come home.

Oh, my poor baby.

She only came because Nonnie paid her to.

She doesn't even want me, and she doesn't even want to stay.

It's all wrong.

Nothing turned out the way it was supposed to be.

Supposed to be.

Oh, life ain't supposed to be nothing except maybe tough.

But I thought that when my mother came...

Listen, all that stuff about happy endings, it's just lies.

Sometimes things will come easy.

And you'll say, "finally, I got a happy ending."

That's the way things is supposed to be.

Like life, he owed you good things.

And there is a lot of good things, baby.

Like you, coming to spend time with us this fall.

Oh, that was mighty good for me and William Ernest.

But you're just fooling yourself if you expect good things to come regular.

Well, if life's so bad, how come you are so happy?

Did I say bad? I said tough.

There ain't nothing can make you happy like doing good on a tough job.

Trotter, stop preaching to me.

I want to come home.

You have been home, baby.

Your grandma is your home.

No, but I want to be with you and William Ernest and Mr. Randolph.

And leave her all alone?

Could you do that?

But I don't want to lose you.

You're not losing a family. You're getting another one.

Me and William Ernest and Mr. Randolph, we're not going anyplace.

But your grandma is your blood.

You need to take time and get to know her.

You're a part of me.

And me a part of you now.

Nobody can ever take that away from us.


She called from her car.

She's lost, child.

If you could have heard her voice.

She needs you.

Trotter, stop trying to make a stinking Christian out of me.

I wouldn't try to make nothing out of you.

Me and William Ernest and Mr. Randolph, we kind of like you the way you are.

Now, I was thinking about Thanksgiving.


I owe you a Turkey dinner.

And so, how about maybe...

Maybe Easter.

You come on back for a visit.

I'll bake you a big old juicy ham, and we'll bite the heads off chocolate Easter bunnies.

And we'll put rabbit ears on Mr. Randolph.

Oh, I think me and William Ernest would just love that.


I love you.

I know, baby.

And I love you too.

I'm ready to go home now.

Thank you.

Our girl's going to be just fine, Maime.