Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) is found in his hotelroom, high on heroin,
besides the body of his girlfriend Nancy Spungent (Chloe Webb). From this
point, the movie goes back to the time when Sid first met Nancy, when his
punkrock band, the Sex Pistols, really started out and grew bigger and
bigger, and he with the band, while she was an American groupie with a
drug problem who introduced him to heroin. This led to the Sex Pistols'
performances deteriorating, since Sid, who wasn't even good at the bass
guitar to begin with, showed up to their shows out of it more and more
often. Basically though, Sid stayed with the Pistols
not because he was good friends with Johnny Rotten (Andrew Schofield) -
who got more and more fed up with Sid's excesses anyways - but because
manager Malcolm McLaren (David Hayman) thought him to be the epitomy of
punk rock, the most authentic - if least talented and dependable - member of the band.
even McLaren thinks Sid should cut back on the drugs, and he tells his
assistant Phoebe (Debby Bishop) to take care of Sid and tries to split him
and Nancy up when he refuses to take her on tour to the USA with the
In the USA however, the band breaks up, mainly due to Sid's
unreliability and his continued escapades, and with the Sex Pistols gone,
Sid and Nancy reunite and try to cash in on his fame, even if without the
Sex Pistols, Sid's lack of actual talent and his drugged out state show
more and more, and in the end he and Nancy can't afford more than a
rundown room in rundown Chelsea Hotel in Manhattan, where Sid, totally
stoned, eventually stabs Nancy in a rowe, then watches television all
night ... until one of his dealers tips the police off anonymously.
is arrested for murder but released on bail, and all he wants to do
is eat pizza - even if it is in a rundown pizza place in Long Island. And
there, Sid has to realize the world has moved on, the street kids are no
longer afraid of him and listen to hip hop, a music he no longer can relate to. But
then, Nancy arrives in a limousine and invites him in ...
A title card
though tells us he actually died from a heroin overdose while out on bail
Thanks to director Alex Cox, one of the few filmmakers who
actually understood the punk rock spirit, Sid and Nancy has become
a bio pic like no other, a film that remains unapologetic about its deeply
flawed lead characters without celebrating their lifestyle, a film that
doesn't necessarily just stick to historical facts but fills the story
with allegoric, poetic imagery, subversive satire (like Sy Richardson's
anarchic Methadone doctor or Miguel Sandoval's A&R man who hasn't
got the slightest idea about punk rock) and cartoon-like scenes, that's
incredibly well-paced to keep the tension up throughout, and that, despite
the tragic aspects of the story, is wildly entertaining.
A great film,
and one only wishes more film biographies could be like that.