Morbid biographical story of Sid Vicious, bassist with British punk group the Sex Pistols, and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. 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.Written by
Alexander Lum <aj_lum@postoffice. utas.edu. au>
Nancy's neck is bare when she is hanging out of the window at the fancy hotel, but is wearing a dog collar in the subsequent scene on the roof. See more »
[Sid has been arrested]
Why so tense kid? Look, we just wanna know who the girl was. Where did you meet her? Son?
[hands him a cigarette]
[Takes a drag and sniffles]
I met her at Linda's.
Linda? Who's Linda?
See more »
"And introducing the young Cat Vicious in the role of Smoky, Sid and Nancy's child." See more »
People often use the description of a road accident to describe an event that is so ugly they don't normally want to look at it, but is in turn so fascinating that they simply cannot look away. Alex Cox's depiction of the relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen fits that description to a T. It consists of so much ugliness that nobody in their right mind would normally watch it for pleasure, but it is done in such a fascinating manner that one can't help being fascinated.
Sid Vicious was definitely not one of humanity's finer specimens. His name was a total misnomer, given that he apparently couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag. His musical skills were so close to non-existent that I could probably play a better song than he does, in spite of never having played in a band before. So it is hardly a surprise that much of his daily activity consisted of destroying himself. Nor is it surprising that the girlfriend who tries to exploit his total lack of talent is even more vapid and idiotic than he is.
The real John Lydon refers to this biopic as the "Peter Pan version", and I don't doubt that this is to some extent true. No film studio in its right mind is going to pay to have what really happened with Sid Vicious and the people around him depicted on film, especially not now that one cannot bring a period piece with a decent cast to completion without spending a good fifty million. Interestingly, John Lydon also describes himself as being the only talented member of the Sex Pistols, and this is borne out by his musical output after their breakup, so it would be interesting to see a biopic about him.
Not having seen any original footage or performances of the real Sid Vicious, I am not going to comment on whether Gary Oldman captures the character or not. What he does capture is the general obnoxiousness of the scene. It takes genuine talent as an actor to capture the performance element of a musician so terrible that a genre known for terrible musicianship considers him among the worst. One's instinct when putting a bass guitar in their hand is to do at least a halfway competent job of playing it, so it must have taken some effort to restrain that.
Alex Cox, having just come off the production of Repo Man, obviously wasn't willing to give up his ideas about non-obvious humour. While there aren't nearly as many sight gags here, there's enough sequences that make one laugh in spite of themselves that they cannot help but wonder if it was unintentional. Oldman's impersonation of Vicious doing My Way as only Vicious would will make you laugh, cry, and reminisce, even if you were a mere toddler at the time Vicious died.
I gave Sid And Nancy an eight out of ten. There are some films that one is inclined to respond with a well-emphasised "good" with when old cranks talk about how they don't make films "like this" anymore. When people tell me they don't make films like Sid And Nancy anymore, I think it's a damned shame.
14 of 28 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this