Sid and Nancy

Film , Drama
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Sid and Nancy

The sad tale of punky junkies Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen gets a re-release

There’s an age-old truism that people on drugs are never as interesting as they think they are. That idea is carried to its natural conclusion in Alex Cox’s 1986 biopic ‘Sid and Nancy’, re-released as part of this year’s Punk London celebrations. The story of how Sex Pistols bass ‘player’ Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) met and married American expat Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb), and how their heroin-fuelled romance ended in disaster and death at New York’s Chelsea Hotel, might sound fascinating on paper. But, in practice, it’s just a teensy bit tiresome: two addled junkies falling about and bellowing at each other for 112 long minutes.

The performances are, of course, magnificent: Webb owns her largely thankless role, while Oldman snarls, spits and staggers like he means it, maaan. But we’re never given a reason to care about their characters, beyond the fact they were famous: Sid is painted as a brainless, immature id-monster while Nancy is a grotesque caricature of the rock-star girlfriend: blinkered, self-obsessed and whiny (it’s a haunting irony that Courtney Love, who has a small role here, was obsessed with Spungen). The result is a film that never feels remotely real, content to wallow in dead-rock-star mythology and tedious druggie indulgences.

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday August 5 2016
Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alex Cox
Screenwriter: Abbe Wool, Alex Cox
Cast: Courtney Love
Gary Oldman
Debby Bishop
Perry Benson
Andrew Schofield
Chloe Webb
David Hayman
Xander Berkeley
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