Sid & Nancy (1986)

Romeo & Juliet, mixed with heroin. Lots and lots of it.

This gritty biopic portrays the relationship and downward spiral of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and his junkie girlfriend, Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb), from their first meeting soon after Vicious joined the iconic punk band to the tragic end of their story.

I love the Sex Pistols! They are the definitive punk group that had attitude, problems, snarling lyrics, and great songs to back it all up. But they were also known for having one of the more well-known suicidal figures of Rock, Sid Vicious.

You have probably heard the stories about him, and almost every one is true. But the film doesn’t just focus on how much of a crazy and wild character he was, it focuses on the love that he and Nancy Spungen shared. It shows some sides of Vicious’ rock playing, however, its more focused on how these two met, and how each of their actions together, actually effect themselves, and the people around them. So if your looking for a hard-kicking biopic on the Sex Pistols, this is not your film.

This movie had its problems of course, mostly with the script. Its not predictable, since you know how these two lived their lives, unless your not familiar, but there are just too many problems with the inaccuracies of the things that had to do with the band. The film focused a lot on Sid & Nancy, which I didn’t mind, but many facts like: how the Sex Pistols broke up, or how they performed with Sid half-way out of it on stage, were all too fake for me to believe. Also, at points it is a huge downer, that barely features any bright and shiny moments. I wasn’t expecting a film with rainbows and sun in the sky that’s about a love with heroin, but if you want to be depressed, this is the film.

People always ask: why make a film about two selfishly absorbed people, on the way to self-destruction? And for the longest time, I actually thought about that myself. However, the film is not only used to tell the story of love between these two, but also used as an anti-drug story. Drugs destroys everything, the music is gone, the lose is gone, they vomit and yell at the end more than they make love or music. There are a lot of scenes here that will effect you big time, and make you understand, what drugs do to you.

Gary Oldman is perfect for the role of Sid. Nowadays, he may not be viewed as the best pic for the role, however, back in the old days, he was perfect. He showed the attitude that made Sid Vicious famous, and also the mind-set of being lost in a world of heartbreak and drugs. Chloe Webb is also strong, here as Nancy, and plays this very annoying, and not so attractive character, to its finest. These two make a great chemistry and add a lot more to the film, especially when its just them two on screen.

Consensus: It may be a downer, but Sid & Nancy shows how a beautiful romance between two low-lives can actually be a beautiful thing, with great performances from the cast, and a great anti-drug message.



  1. Haven’t seen Sid and Nancy in years, but I sure did love it back in the day. Oldman went on quite the tear in the late 80’s early 90’s. Prick Up Your Ears, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, State of Grace, The Professional and Immortal Beloved. Some great performances in some amazing films. Might just have to give Sid and Nancy a re-watch!

  2. “why make a film about two selfishly absorbed people” for people who love punk, I would hate all happy stories. I’m a sucker for tragic beauty. It’s easy to fall from grace. nice review on an oldie!

  3. I just watched this a few days ago. I should have a little something up tomorrow morning. Didn’t like it near as much as you did, but it was still pretty good. Oldman was great.

  4. Good review, I think Gary Oldham rarely gets enough credit as an actor. He’s taken on some difficult roles and never really sold-out. He’s unique and talented and always brings something a little extra to every film he’s in.

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