Bump ★★★★ – HollyShorts Film Festival

Bump ★★★★ – HollyShorts Film Festival

Rory Keenan’s debut film, Bump, is a rounding success, ably bringing some biting comedy while finding the perfect chance to wipe that smile clean off our faces. A strong start to a promising career as a director.

Director: Rory Keenan, Cast: Gemma Arterton, Macy Nyman, Nylah Sweeney

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12435324

Heavily pregnant Pearl (Gemma Arterton) leaves the house and rages against the world as she tries to process the after-effects of an argument with her partner.

Gemma Arterton seems to revel in Pearls Devil may care attitude in the opening half of Bump. She isn’t willing to hear anyone’s nonsense and will just say it. I am sure many pregnant women would feel the same in her situation. To just blurt out what is going on in your head as another person compares their pregnancy to yours and gives you unwanted advice for the millionth time. It is great and, most importantly, hilarious, though there is something more going on with Pearl that we can’t quite place our finger on as the memories of her argument flashback into her mind.

It isn’t until we reach the café that we realise the issue at hand is more than her argument with her partner and is, in fact, something far closer to home. The don’t give two f**ks attitude is gone and subtly so from Arterton; instead, a sad rage is within her. Almost as if something has defeated her. The confidence has been washed away as time removes the initial anger.

What comes next is painful for all involved, and it allows Arterton to show the full range of her talents as an actress. We feel everything in those moments with the camera smartly staying on her face during it. She can’t hide away, and neither can we and as uncomfortable as it is to see Pearl struggle in the way she does, it is necessary.

Keenan and cinematographer Suzie Lavelle take an almost observational tone with Bump. There are a lot of wide shots of Pearl wandering around the streets as if we are keeping an eye on her from doing something too out of hand. Coupled with this are extreme close-ups, showing us Artetons distracted stare. So when someone crosses her (of which there are many within the 15-minute film, we see the full wrath that has been etched onto her face. It is a very smart filmmaking choice as it never lets us overthink anything we see.

Arterton shines as she always does and shows that she is getting better with every role she tackles. Keenan has a strong future behind the camera if any of his projects are as good as this. Bump is worthy of the awards that it has already won and is a film you should definitely catch.


The annual Academy Awards® Qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival will celebrate its 18th year August 11-20, 2022. HollyShorts (HSFF) brings together top creators, industry leaders, and companies and has launched many filmmakers into the next stages of their careers. HollyShorts, a regular on the MovieMaker Magazine Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee list, also engages its community and spotlights short films year-round through monthly screenings, panels, and networking events. 

The most recent edition of HollyShorts had six selections nominated for Academy Awards this year with two wins for Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed’s The Long Goodbye and Ben Proudfoot’s Queen of Basketball.

HollyShorts Film Festival will take place in-person at the TCL Chinese Theaters in Hollywood, and stream via Bitpix TV,  with the annual Awards Gala set to take place on August 20, 2022. 

For tickets to the festival please click here.

For more of our reviews of the festival, please check out below:


North Star


Act of God





How Do You Measure a Year?




Love, Dad

Paper Thin

Kickstart My Heart

Return to Sender

Skin & Bone


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