(From left to right – Jaime Winstone, Riann Steele and Sarah Hoare)
We were excited about Powder Room – it’s got a stellar cast, from Sheridan Smith, to Jaime Winstone and Oona Chaplin (who I am personally obsessed with. Her hair! The fact that she’s Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter! Her tantalising performance as a sometimes-escort in Channel 4’s Dates earlier on this year. The list goes on).
Basically, this is a Brit flick for the girls.
And it’s good – but not as good as it maybe could have been.
Sheridan Smith (who is always amazing. In everything) plays Sam. She’s on a night out – with two different sets of mates. One bunch, her ‘true’ friends, are are also the so-called ’embarrassing’ ones – the ones who nick drinks because they’re skint, get so wasted they end up hiding in toilet cubicles whilst wrapped in bog roll, and shamelessly shave their armpits in the ladies’ loos (well, the latter is just Jaime Winstone as man-eater, Chanel).
(Oona Chaplin, Sheridan Smith and Kate Nash)
Sam’s other bunch of mates are played by super-cool Oona Chaplin (Jess), and Kate Nash (Michelle) -yes, really – Miss Nash is an actress now! I didn’t even recognise her without her fringe, to be honest – what a transformation – though not one I’m totally convinced by. But it’s clear from the start they aren’t Sam’s true friends – just a bitchy friend of Sam’s from the past, and her snobby Parisian mate.
(Jaime Winstone and Sheridan Smith)
Sam spends the night flitting between the two gaggles of girls – with increasing tension and unease. Who are her real friends? The ones she’s grown up with – and outgrown a little – or the chic duo that Sam aspires to be like?
As the narrative moves forward, we see that Sam’s life has actually been unravelling in front of her eyes for months.
I liked this film. Sheridan Smith gave a great performance – and I sympathised with her character, as many girls will – skint, upset, confused, heartbroken, stuck, bored, whatever – there’s a quality in Sam that we can all relate to. And probably several if we’re honest.
Jaime Winstone and Oona Chaplin too were fabulous, as always.
And I liked that the film revolved around the toilets at a club – which is, though a bit of a cliche, the place you often spend half your night nattering with your friends.
The bits I didn’t like? The random bursting into song. I guess that was too… jazz hands for me, but that’s just me. Others will like that element – and the film is based on a play.
This is a slick, girly film, and it’s one younger girls especially will like. I can’t see it becoming a cult classic or anything – but it’s definitely worth a watch. If only to see Jaime Winstone shaving her armpits in a club toilet.
Our rating: ***
Powder Room is at cinemas from 6th December.