If you love watching a human train wreak, then this is your movie. The scenes are at times intense. Oldman plays an excellent junkie. The movie makes me wonder about us as a society that would produce individuals such as Sid and Nancy. The home scene with Nancy's parents was sad as the unhappy couple couldn't even fake acting civil.
I was confused about the production of "My Way" in the middle of the movie. Was this a short feature they actually did, or was this supposed to be the workings of Sid' mind?
Sex, drugs, rock'n'roll. "Sid and Nancy" are crammed to the brim with those things, as well as a massive helping of death. This biopic follows the love affair between Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen, set in the grimy, bloody, filthy punk subculture of the era -- and Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb are absolutely amazing.
Vicious (Oldman) was part of rising punk band the Sex Pistols when he met Spungen (Webb), an American groupie whom he finds oddly fascinating, despite the fact that her voice could etch glass. They also fight all the time, but make up just as fast.
So much to the disgust of the other Sex Pistols (especially Johnny Rotten) begin a passionate affair full of love, hate, sex and heroin addiction; Vicious lost focus on the band and drifting out on his own with Nancy. Little by little, the lovers slid into a hell of drugs, squalor and self-loathing -- until the day when Spungen died of a stab wound in the Chelsea Hotel.
They say that a lot of "Sid and Nancy" is fictionalized, but I'll freely admit that I'm not sure how much was. One thing is for sure -- the movie is a raw, painfully bleak experience occasionally lightened by moments of actual love and romance, but mostly overshadowed by the drugs and violence that were always present in Spungen and Vicious' relationship.
Alex Cox also does a brilliant job painting the punk subculture of the time -- lots of nastiness, screaming, blood, grime, garbage-filled alleys and howling music. And he spends the entire movie slowly sliding Spungen and Vicious down into their own private hell, alienating everybody and wrecking their bodies with drugs. The most horrible part is that he really makes you FEEL how they started with the world at their feet, but ended up in a world as small as their squalid hotel room.
The only problem is that sometimes he goes a bit overboard on the symbolism. Think garbage raining down like flowers during a Sid/Nancy kiss, or the weird prophetic dream where Sid shoots a "punk angel" Nancy only to have her come up onstage and embrace him.
Oldman and Webb are absolutely stunning in this role -- Oldman's face isn't quite like Vicious', but his mumbling emaciated performance is perfect. And every time you start to get sick of Vicious' antics, Oldman makes you feel sorry for him. And Webb's portrayal of Nancy is shrill and annoying enough to peel paint ("Whyyyyyyy?! I aaaaaaam noooooot! We are SO maaarried!"), but it's absolutely spot-on.
"Sid and Nancy" leaves you wondering if it's a rock'n'roll love story, or the tragic slide of two junkies into oblivion. Or, you know, both.
on June 16, 2002
When I saw this movie, I WAS obsessed with it for a while, saw it maybe...God knows how many times...though I'd watch it 2 times a day. I know a lot of people are going to go, "DUH! HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO FIGURE THAT OUT??" but after finding more info on the Pistols and Sid and Nancy in particular, I realized this movie is a freakin fairy tale. It's only BASED on real events, and I don't understand why b/c I know a lot of people would like to know about Sid and Nancy and would like to know what REALLY happened. For example, in the club scene, when Sid knocks reporter "Dick Dent" with a guitar...that really happened, and the reporters name was Nick Kent. Why not use his real name? Everyone already knows...And the fact that Nancy goes to see her GRANDPARENTS when in NY...I'm sure everyone's read Nancy's bio and they KNOW she was at her PARENT'S...what are they trying to conceal? Gee, how subtle. And the very blunt dislike the grandparents show for her and kick her out, that's just not true, but a very obviuos attempt at making Nancy look more wretched and vile than she already is. And last but not least, the only other thing that really made the movie slightly unbearable was the fact that Cloe Webb is so UGLY! Good Christ, Nancy was 20 when she died, Chloe looks FIFTY!! (Just watch the movie and see). I think that Courtney Love would have made a better Nancy as Nancy is now sometimes referred to as "THe Original Courtney Love"
And maybe somebody who wuold know would like to tell me differently but I think they overdid Nancy a LITTLE too much. I mean, nobody is THAT irritating! I've read her mom's bio on her, and that seems to support my statement right. She wasn't THAT immature! I think most of the time she was more [angry] than immature.
on January 18, 2002
The first time I saw the movie "Sid and Nancy" I find it very creepy, rude and bad, when I knew more about the Sex Pistols, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen I review the movie and find it good. Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious is great, he act very good. Chloe Webb as Nancy Spungen is good but she doesn't look very much like her and I hate her blonde hair, that must be a wig. The guy who act as Johnny Rotten don't look at him at all and also the guy who act as Paul Cook the drummer doesn't look like him also. Lot of falses in this movie. I read the book "I don't want to live this life" by Deborah Spungen the mother of Nancy and some little facts to say is Nancy only had one grand-mother from her mother side who was still alive, so I don't understand they put a grand-father in there and also Nancy had one sister close to her age, and the girl who act as her sister look much younger then Nancy and she only have a brother, not two like in the movie. The movie is good but it not very accurate. I think Courtney Love will had been great to play the part of Nancy because she looklike Nancy and her personality is very much like Nancy but Chole Webb was good in the movie. I recomand it to any Sex Pistols fan and Sid and Nancy fan but some fan may not like the movie because is not so accurate.
on November 13, 2001
This movie, detailing the crash & burn relationship of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious & wanna-be groupie Nancy Spungen is one of the finest films I've ever seen. The relationship these two had and the life they lead is so depressing. The really wonderful thing about this film is for all the unhapiness these two very stupid and self-destructive people brought down upon themselves, they really had a deep affection for one another. No matter how abusive Nancy was, Sid took it, and on top of it, always stuck up for his girl. Nancy Spungen was a girl who really wanted to be a part of the music business and the world of rock stars & groupies. Until Sid came along she existed on the periphery of that world. Only the most gorgeous girls were chosen by the rock gods! Here comes Sid and Nancy is, at least in her estimation in the thick of things. Too bad they had to mess everything up. I love the way Gary Oldman portrays Sid as a really naive little kid. Sid was only seventeen when he hooked up with the Sex Pistols and met the love of his life, so there's a reality there that's great. Chloe Webb does a great job as Nancy, although Webb is much better put together than the original Nancy, she gets the mannerisms and the screaming down perfectly. One of my favorite scenes is where the couple is out to score drugs and they lean against a dumpster to kiss, out of nowhere, all this trash starts to fall from the sky. It's a perfect metaphor to their life, it says it all. I often wonder what would have happened to Sid if he had never met his destructive anti-muse. Too bad he didn't have the sense to run when he first met her.
on May 17, 2000
Back in 1990 this movie was ahead of its time. Having just watched it again I'd say it holds up quite well for a film from 1986. It is one of the first movies that that woke me up to what 'quality' filmmaking is.
'Sid And Nancy' is a story about how two weak and co-dependant people could fall in love and squander that love and everything else - including their lives. It is not a film about the Sex Pistols (of which I'm a huge fan), nor about the punk movement (which became mainstream and homogenized by its own popularity SO GET OVER IT), nor about music in the 70's. It is a sad love story about a guy named Sid and a girl named Nancy. It is called 'Sid And Nancy' for a reason, folks.
Gary Oldman is Sid Vicious, period, in all his humanity. I don't know if it's Oldman's skill as an actor or research beforehand, but his portrayal of Sid is convincing, engrossing and utterly amazing. And Chloe Webb plays Nancy almost as well. For those of you who think she overacted the part I suggest you read "And I Don't Want To Live This Life" by Nancy's mother. Nancy was out of control from the day she popped from the womb. And the use of drugs in this film isn't about heroin's destructive physical effects, but rather how two immature people so unhappy with life become enslaved to the promise of happiness via chemicals. A promise heroin cannot fulfill.
I have owned this tape since 1990 and the story alone is worth the price. The cinematography has some 80's-ish flourishes, but the context in which Sid and Nancy's relationship is set (70's London, the punk scene, Sex Pistols tour in the US) is icing on the cake. Sid and Nancy's gradual descent into their living hell and tragic end is pathetic but still grabs you, not allowing you to look away.
on March 21, 2000
Every punk I knew was disgusted when this debuted in 1986. We weren't expecting much from Hollywood, but this was still shockingly bad--just an ugly exploitation of punk rock's "weirdness" for suburban shopping-mall crowds. Alex Cox had the talent and the budget to make a probing film about pop culture, the media, our need for human contact and the hazards of all three, but instead he opted for a freak show.
Besides the shallowness of the whole concept and the triteness of the central "romance" (how much cartoon irony can we stomach past age 5?), several huge flaws dominate. Schofield is abominable as Johnny Rotten, Chloe Webb plays Nancy as a whiny, middle-aged barfly, instead of the manipulative but driven naif that she was, and the plot is full of fabrications and countless anachronisms. Not that there really is a plot--the (listless) scenes seem to have been cobbled together at random, following no logic and accruing no momentum. Every funny moment is followed by several minutes of dead air. The irony is that the filmmakers had so much exciting material, so many telling anecdotes, to choose from. And they wound up with something so vacuous and boring.
Gary Oldman gives an outstanding performance as Sid Vicious, immersing himself in the role until you would almost believe he was Sid, were he eight years younger. But even his genius can't save this lazy and ill-conceived mess of a movie.
on September 21, 1999
Alex Cox has created a visionary cinematic masterpiece of Pop Culture. This film is filled with anger, passion and honesty. I feel as close to the characters as I would to a deviant sibiling thanks to the realism and epic direction. Symbolism and foreshadowing create the canvas that Cox has used to tell a story of love beyond all bounds.
Gary Oldman, Probablly one of the finest and under-rated actors trying to break into the Hollywood Machine, takes a very true to life approach to the character. Oldman melds his acting skills with real life pain to recreate the Character. Gary olman is Sid Vicious.
Don't let the Punk Rock fairy tale of The Sex Pistols elude the underlying allegory of the purest love story since Romeo and Juliet. The Punk Rock band "The Circle Jerks" once Screamed "Love Kills", and this time it did. One of the ironic twists is that Courney Love, wife of troubled Punker Kurt Cobain, has a small part in this film. Love and Cobain have been compared to Sid and Nancy on many occaissions.
I would highly recomend this film to anyone from Cinematic Connoisseurs seeking fine direction and acting to Gen Xers who want a violent love story with all the Punk Rock trimmings.
on February 14, 1999
Is it full of historic inaccuracies? Sure. Is it an accurate portrayal and timeline of the events as they occured? From time to time. Was it a thoroughly intriguing journey, seen at "ground level" of what is arguably one of the most notorious "crash and burns" stories of our time? Without doubt. Did Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb accurately portray Sid and Nancy? In essence, YES. The soundtrack (provided by ex-Clash member Joe Strummer), the lighting, and settings serve to push you (I have to admit, for me sometimes unwillingly) through the fall and then plummet of Sid and Nancy. The movie was in turn serious, grotesque, cartoonish, erotic, embarassing, fascinating, and beautiful. All of it seemed appropriate. Throughout, I felt I was in a seat, right behind Sid and Nancy's, on a wild roller coaster ride with them. I just seemed inevitable that it ended the way it did. The story never leaves the rollercoaster tracks. The world just seemed to rush by faster and faster, until it is just a blur. You can't help but feel uncomfortable as you watch the lives of these two characters reduced to a hopeless,"from high to high" existence in room 100 of New York's famous Chelsea Hotel. (Watch for Iggy Pop and his wife in a quick cameo in the hallway at the Chelsea) You realize that Sid Vicious is a modern "Everyman" representing every "famous" and non-famous junkie caught in a great downward spiral. The movie provided, for me, unforgettable images. For all of the other elements, this movie is in the end a love story. These two tragic characters are left with only the deep love for each other and addiction. The love was not enough for Nancy and too much for Sid.
on December 24, 2001
This is a good film detailing the drug induced love relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. It has real emotion and grim settings , and a dark and bleak look at their torturous violent relationship ..while at the same time making us laugh at their childlike immature behavior. The film is also very flawed. It was very inaccurate in several places ( oh come on like we wouldnt notice there was never a Rockhead )Plus the actors while giving good performances do not fit the part..Gary Oldman had to have been at least in his late twenties ..the real Sid Vicious was barely of legal drinking age..same with Chloe Webb as Spungen. The actor who plays Johnny Rotten is so terrible it makes me want to puke..not only does he look at all nothing like Mr.Rotten , but his ability to mimick Johnny's sneer and attitude is nearly satirical. Sid and Nancy is nontheless a classic film displaying an out-of-control nihilistic lifestyle of drug abuse and excess