Cert: 18 Runtime: 112 mins Director: Alex Cox Cast: Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb and David Hayman
Never trust a junkie
This really was the beginning for Gary Oldman in my opinion, he has portrayed many characters over the years. Sid Vicious is one of the most memorable in my eyes, I wasn’t even born yet but its crazy that this film is almost 30 years old! So what is Sid & Nancy? Morbid biographical story of Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman), bassist with British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). When the Sex Pistols break up after their fateful US tour, Vicious attempts a solo career while in the grip of heroin addiction. One morning, Nancy is found stabbed to death and Sid is arrested for her murder.Some films tend to glorify rock and roll by showing off its glamorous side full of adventure and wonder. Sid and Nancy does no such thing. Instead it exposes the dirty, grimy, seedy underbelly of punk rock which is full of violence and drugs. Gary Oldman plays Sid Vicious, the bassist for British punk rock group the Sex Pistols. The film chronicles his life from when he meets his junky girlfriend, Nancy Spungen, to the tragic demise of that relationship. It is a loud, mean, ugly, and crass film that perfectly captures all that the Sex Pistols stood for… anarchy. Filled with all sorts of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Sid and Nancy is a seriously wild ride. If there’s anything that makes this film, it’s Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb. These two are incredible, Oldman more so. Oldman captures the self destructive tendencies of Sid excellently and takes it to a frighteningly believable extreme. It is a terrifying and shocking experience to watch him run amuck in this film, spray painting walls, nonstop drinking, shooting heroin every chance he gets, burning houses, etc. He is the true essence of anarchy, and yet somehow we feel sympathy for him.
This is solely because of Nancy, the girlfriend. She is a character you love to hate. She is a pathetic excuse for a human being, always whining to get her way and her drugs, never contributing anything positive to Sid’s life, and always screaming about her own problems. It is sickening and it makes the film all the more twisted and engrossing as we watch such self destruction unfold on screen.It’s not easy to tell a story where your two main characters are so easily hateable, but somehow this film does it. I think it is because of the balance between Nancy and Sid that we feel compelled to pity Sid and despise Nancy, making the film engaging in an offbeat and slightly deranged way. Their story is so backwards and so wretchedly obscene that we have to be interested in it somehow. It starts off simply enough. The Sex Pistols are all about anarchy and they go around beating people up, cursing, drinking, and all that sort of thing. But it isn’t until Sid meets Nancy that things really start to explode as the story falls deeper and deeper into a twisted fit of depravity. Thing get worse and worse for the two as the film progresses and Sid’s life slowly crumbles around him, with him too drunk or too high to even notice. The film does lag a little bit towards the middle as the conversations between Nancy and Sid begin to get a little repetitive, but we are then hit by an expected yet still powerful ending that closes out the film at just the right tone and atmosphere.There is really nothing sane or reasonable about Sid and Nancy. It envelopes true chaos and discourse through the life of one man and his ridiculous girlfriend. It is a chore to watch this film as it does chronicle a life full of the most horrible habits and attitudes imaginable, but if you can stomach it all then Sid and Nancy is a fantastic film to experience. I loved this film and was truly fascinated by it. It displays a lifestyle a would never want to live. Instead, I only want to learn about it in vulgar detail from a great film like Sid and Nancy.