"Nico, 1988" (2017 Italian-Belgian co-production; 93 min.) is a bio-pick that examines the last 2 years of Nico, the German singer/performer who because instantly famous in the mid/late 60s for her association with Andy Warhol and of course her collaboration with The Velvet Underground. As the movie opens, we are told it is "1986" and we get to know Nico, who is moving into a small and unremarkable house in gray and gloomy Manchester, England. She is about to tour with her new band, made up mostly of second or third rate musicians, but her manager can't afford better. Along the way we see Nico struggling with her heroin addiction. At this point we are 10 min. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this movie is directed by directed by Susanna Nicchiarelli, whom I admit I am not familiar with. In fact, much of this Italian-Belgian co-production features a cast of unknowns, except for Danish actress Trine Dyrholm in the title role (we saw her most recently in the excellent "The Commune"). Dryholme is absolutely sensational as the latter day Nico, and she carries the movie on her shoulders (she is in virtually every frame of the movie). On top of that, Dryholm also does her own singing of the various songs from Nico's solo albums that we hear and watch throughout the movie). Is everything that we watch in this film truly an accurate reflection of how those last two years of Nico's life? I haven't a clue, but one does get the sense that there is a good overall narrative in this film, for whatever that's worth.
I likely would've missed this film but for the fact that during a recent family visit to Belgium, I heard about this and then read an interview with Trine Dyrholm in a Belgian magazine. The movie opened the very weekend I was there. The Friday early evening screening where I saw this at in Antwerp, Belgium, was attended okay but not great. That's hardly a surprise as this isn't the type of movie that will find a large mainstream audience. But if you are interested in learning more about Nico's latter years in life, you could do a lot worse than watching this movie, and hence I'd readily recommended you do (I have my doubts this will get a theatrical release in the US so check it out on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray).
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