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4.1 out of 5 stars
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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on June 16, 2001
I saw this movie for the first time when I was but a lad of 14. It made quite an impression, and I have been a Gary Oldman fan ever since. If you too find him to be one of the finest actors of our time, then you too should see this incredible debut performance. He plays Sid Vicious so well, it's hard to picture the real Sid Vicious dead.
The movie follows the fateful punk rocker from the beginnings of the Sex Pistols, through his lack luster solo career, and to the eventual deaths of both Nancy Spungen, and himself. Throughout, the bizarre, and self-destructive relationship threatens to rip the whole story apart. Webb does an awesome job playing Nancy Spungen, and is at times so bloody annoying you wouldn't mind stabbing her to death in some seedy hotel room in NYC either.
This movie is quite draining though, as it's long, and as I've said, depressing. But the writing, directing, and acting are all superb. For all of you out there who want to know more of the story, you should check out a book called "And I don't want to live this life." It was written by Deborah Spungen (Nancy Spungens mom), and it chronicles Nancy's' turbulent life from beginning to end. A good read.
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on November 13, 2001
If I could give this movie a lower rating than one star, I would.
Forget for a moment that it is completely historically inaccurate. This isn't a biopic; it's a cartoon. The characters are nothing like the people they are trying to portray.
Oldman is one of my favorite actors, and I don't have as much a problem with his portrayal as I do with some of the other actors'. It's particularly painful to watch Chloe Webb's heretofore-lauded performance. It reeks. Did she do ANY research on this subject before plunging in? Has the word "underplay" ever entered her realm of consciousness?
All one has to do is watch a clip of the real Sid and Nancy together to see how shrill and one-dimensional is Webb's portrayal. Nancy Spungen was no angel, but she wasn't quite as stupid as is Webb's Spungen. (Read "And I Don't Want to Live this Life" by Nancy's mother for a slightly more reasonable picture.)
In employing a mostly offensive cast, we fail to sympathize with their dilemma or understand why the devil Sid would fall in love with her in the first place. How can we give a hang about them in any way? We are relieved when Webb croaks out her last 'Siiiddddd' on the bathroom floor.
Also, all of the actors are at least ten years older than any of the characters in the movie are supposed to be, and they look it. These people were, for all intents and purposes, children. Sid was 21 when he died, Nancy 20. If you watch film of the real Sid and Nancy, it hits you just how young they were. Webb looks like somebody's worn-out mother. Why Courtney Love was overlooked for this role is beyond me.
Casting younger actors would have helped to underscore the stupidity and immaturity of Sid and Nancy's actions, and also the tragedy of the reckless self-annihilation of people young enough to truly believe they are indestructible.
But this isn't a cautionary tale about drugs anyway...it's supposed to be a love story, glorifying drugs as the glue that held together Sid and Nancy's relationship (if only Bowery Snax had shown up sooner with that heroin...*sigh*).
And the happy little Romeo and Juliet scene of Sid and Nancy, looking very styley, riding into the sunset in a Yellow Cab is just pathetic. I envision her whipping out the works as soon as the car door slams. Yep, they're resting in peace all right.
If you want a more accurate look at the Sex Pistols, buy "The Filth and the Fury." You won't be disappointed.
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on February 29, 2004
The tragic brutal love story of the "sex pistols" base player Sid Vicious and his American girlfriend Nancy Spungen. These performances are amazing. Gary Oldmen should have won an Oscar. This movie should have been nominated at least. I'd rather have this win best picture than "platoon". This is a depressing dark story, which could be funny at times. I'm not really a big "Sex Pistols" fan but this movie I still say this is one of the greatest movie of all time. I'm not saying it is but one of. This movie will get you interested in "Sex Pistols". Gary Oldmen and Chloe Webb are amazing in this film. They each should have won an Oscar, because this movie is just amazing showing Love Kills. The movie is really great which sometimes could make you cry. Not that I did you know but you know somebody. The thing that sucks is the Criterion Collection is out of print. Then you have to get it on ebay for 50 bucks I mean c'mon. If you haven't seen this, even if you aren't not a big "Sex Pistols" fan, you will love this film.
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on March 20, 2002
Humorously tragic (or is it tragically humorous?) fantasia about the love affair between Sid Vicious, infamous bassist of the Sex Pistols, and his wife Nancy, a former groupie of the band...There were two movies during that decade that snatched the Zeitgeist, both directed by Alex Cox -- *Repo Man* and *Sid and Nancy*. Both were required viewing if you wanted to be considered hip....Surprisingly, each movie holds up very well today, particularly this one. One would've thought that Alex Cox would eventually become one of our great directors...At any rate . . . this movie meticulously chronicles heroin addiction and all-around nihilist despair without making either one seem too cool. The obvious danger inherent in this type of movie is to make it all look like..."some fashion show". Cox, perhaps because his lovers are so doomed from the outset, maintains a surprisingly detached tone throughout, occasionally displaying a somewhat superior, From-On-High attitude.(Scenes that come to mind: the trash falling like vile snowflakes on the couple as they kiss by a dumpster; Nancy bemusedly watching their litter-strewn room at the Chelsea burn down, etc.) These directorial interruptions are generally to the detriment of the film. However, there's enough focus on the personal stuff -- the sexual relationship, the drug addiction, the festering KFC bucket on the nightstand next to the bed -- to compensate for the intermittent immaturities. Despite the lack of narrative incident, the atmosphere is finally so fanatically detailed that by the end we feel as if we've been through some sort of epic treatment. --...The general complaint seems to be that *Sid and Nancy* takes too many liberties with the "real story" (as if anyone knows, or should even care, what that might be). Okay, look: it's a MOVIE, guys, not a documentary. It's BASED on real people and events. It makes no claim to be a true story in the sense of being factually correct in every particular. That being said, I feel that it IS a true story in the sense of mood, of tone, of atmosphere, and especially of the sad end-result. *Sid and Nancy* is thematically, even spiritually, a true story. And that's more than enough.
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on July 11, 2001
Don't believe anything in this movie.It's all lies.None of it is true.It was made without the conscent of any of the Sex Pistols. Johnny Rotten himself has commented that none of it is true.This film is an insult to the memory of Sid Vicious.Sure,he had an appetite for hard drugs and self destruction but there was more to him than that.Friends claim Sid was sharp,witty and highly intelligent,and he was.If you want proof of that check out his interview in the more accurate Pistols film "Filth and the Fury". Gary Oldman is a superb actor(I loved him in 'State of Grace') but he gives an utterly misguided performance as Sid.He's not at all convincing in the role.There's three basic probelms;facially, there's no resemblence between him and Sid,Gary was 27 when he made this movie but Sid was only 21 when he died and Gaz is only five foot nine,Sid was six foot two. Overall,it's an inaccurate,outsider's look at a simple story.If you want the truth check out "The Filth and the Fury" or read "Sid Vicious:Rock'n'Roll Star" by Malcolm Butt. Another thing,why is Chloe Webb playing Nancy?Courtney Love was born to play Nancy Spungen.
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