The Nancy of the title refers to Nancy Spungen, the late, bleach-blonde hellcat paramour of deceased Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious, who died of a knife-wound to the abdomen in the early morning of October 12 1978 in New York’s Chelsea Hotel. Director and punk historian Alan G Parker has one aim: to clear the name of Vicious – thought by tabloid newspapers and the NYPD to have carried out the deed in a drugged stupor – by exhuming police evidence and extracting testimonies from numerous scenesters and friends of the departed. Generally, the torrent of lurid anecdotes keeps things moving along nicely, as do the series of animated inserts which almost compensate for the dearth of archive footage and Sex Pistols music.
Yet Parker’s film feels clouded by his obvious posthumous adoration of the enigmatic Sid. His witnesses are less than credible and his argument feels fumbled. You feel that the conclusion, where the evidence suggests another person could have killed Nancy, should have been Parker’s starting point.