Made for the film equivalent of small change, the bawdy, unapologetic Powder Room began life as a comedy fringe theatre production and found the big screen thanks to the producer of The Iron Lady having a spare £100,000 to invest through a typically empowering BFI funding initiative. He (Damian Jones, who started out producing Welcome to Sarajevo) saw the play (written by Rachel Hirons, based on real young women’s stories) and the deal was struck.Big name Sheridan Smith leads a fizzy, in-your-face female cast that includes Oona Chaplin, singer-songwriter Kate Nash and Jaime Winstone. They play friends ranging from the posh to the vulgar who interact in a nightclub toilet, where lies are told, judgements made, insecurities aired, lippy applied and hugs shared. Debut director MJ Delaney keeps the action of linked sketches fluent in an enclosed space, and turns Powder Room into a powder keg of future talent. Warning: it might shock.
England in the 12th century: a time of mud, tyranny and indeterminate accents. Russell Crowe is a decidedly dour incarnation of the Sherwood legend but Cate Blanchett delivers plenty of vim as a feisty Marion.