Sid and Nancy (1986)

The Sex PIstols play... Texas?

The Sex PIstols play… Texas?

The perfect combination for a high-school aged Schlockwave? Gary Oldman in a movie about Sid Vicious. Ooh, boy oh boy did that make me one tingly teenager. As an adult, it makes me a little less tingly, but for the most part, Alex Cox’s Sid and Nancy stood up to my adoring memory.

Let me start off by saying, yes, this movie is controversial and yes, this movie makes certain assumptions about what happened between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. But for a minute,

Toe-sucking is definitely a signature of true love, if you ask me.

Toe-sucking is definitely a signature of true love, if you ask me.

suspend your concern with reality and remember 1) you’re watching a movie and 2) you’re watching an Alex Cox movie.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’m sure you know what this movie sets out to depict: the rise and fall of one of punk rock’s most infamous couples. Sid Vicious meets a down-and-out Nancy Spungen. They fall in love and drug addiction and spiral downward rather quickly amidst the unforgiving London punk scene and a dreadful Sex Pistols

Chloe as Nancy. Also awesome.

Chloe as Nancy. Awesome.

American tour, bottoming out at the famous Chelsea Hotel in New York City, where Nancy Spungen meets a bloody end at the young age of twenty.

The story is sad, and Alex Cox tells it well. It’s easy to forget just how young Sid and Nancy were, as well as the rest of the punk kids that made up the London scene in the late 70’s, but it’s plastered all over Sid and Nancy. Gary Oldman’s Sid Vicious is unable to make decisions for himself. He’s timid and in a strange way, kind and

Sid and Nancy do Paris.

Sid and Nancy do Paris.

loving, too. Chloe Webb’s Nancy Spungen is loud, immature and needy. Both performances are very, very good, and together they paint a very grim picture of addiction indeed.

The movie is not without humor, though, and if you’re familiar at all with the punk rock story, it’s interesting to see Alex Cox’s take on it. There is just enough of Cox’s “out there” imagination to remind the audience that this is an interpretation of someone’s story, not a documentary of it. If you can stand Chloe Webb’s whiny scream, I definitely recommend this. It kinda rules.


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