Thursday, February 28, 2008
Essential Viewing: Sid & Nancy
Sid & Nancy is one of those movies that I can watch on repeat a few times in a single day, despite its disturbing nature. It's one of the best biopics ever made, simply because it strays from the typical biographical story arc and instead focuses on the abusive and destructive relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.
Gary Oldman completely becomes Sid (as he does with every character he plays), and the underrated Chloe Webb does a hell of a job with her performance as Nancy.
I think the film's biggest accomplishment is that it doesn't glorify these two at all. It's very honest in the way it portrays them as junkies, who lived in squalor and didn't exactly contribute much to the world other than the story of their infamous downfall. At the same time, however, director Alex Cox somehow sets the film in a dreamy, forgotten New York, the one that James Murphy sings about in "New York I Love You." It gives the film a somewhat romantic quality, which is at odds with the depressing subjects.
Also worth noting: Courtney Love has a very bit part in the film as Nancy's friend. Apparently she was desperate for the role of Nancy, but lost the role because she wasn't an experienced actress. More importantly, doesn't she look like the albino from The Princess Bride?
Anyway, if you like movies about junkies who occasionally play music and murder their significant others, you should definitely check out Sid & Nancy.