Sunday 20 October 2019

A Bump Along the Way review: 'Transcends its ordinary, soap-opera set-up to deliver something both beautiful and heartbreaking'

4 stars

Bronagh Gallagher in A Bump Along the Way
Bronagh Gallagher in A Bump Along the Way

Chris Wasser

Bronagh Gallagher is Pamela, a 44-year-old single mum from Derry who refuses to grow up.

She’s fond of a drink, is Pamela, and teenage daughter, Allegra (Lola Petticrew), can hardly stand to be in the same room as her poor mum.

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One day, after a brief fling with a local young fella, Pamela is shocked to discover that she is pregnant. She tells the father, but he wants nothing to do with her.

Sure, Pamela will have the support of her friends, but it’s Allegra — who’s being bullied at school, and is struggling to find an identity of her own — that she’ll need the most.

A small, independent feature with a buzzing, naturalistic screenplay by Tess McGowan, A Bump Along the Way transcends its ordinary, soap-opera set-up to deliver something that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

The writing is terrific; the performances perfectly judged, and there’s an enormous amount of goodwill behind this low-key yet loveable project.

Gallagher, in particular, has never been better, and this funny, charming and authentic offering is a wee triumph. Do not miss it.

Herald

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