Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. United Kingdom, 1986. Initial Pictures, U.K. Productions Entity, Zenith Entertainment. Screenplay by Alex Cox, Abbe Wool. Cinematography by Roger Deakins. Produced by Eric Fellner. Music by Dan Wool. Production Design by Lynda Burbank, J. Rae Fox, Andrew McAlpine. Costume Design by Catherine Cook. Film Editing by David Martin. Boston Film Critics Awards 1986. New York Film Critics Awards 1986.
One of the most famous romances in rock history, the relationship between The Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious and the New York punk scene’s luminary Nancy Spungen has gone down in history as one of the scariest combinations of carbon-based chemicals ever witnessed. Vicious (played with terrifying accuracy by Gary Oldman) is a vaguely self-destructive, overly indulgent musician who meets Nancy (a just plain scary Chloe Webb), who is on a definite route to disaster, and the two find each other irresistible from the start. Alex Cox makes sure to please fans of the genre by including recreations of musical performances and references to other popular acts of the day, but what he accomplishes most impressively is finding a lot of genuine love between these two completely disparate people at the heart of all the cruel imagery. You don’t usually feel too much sympathy for immature, suicidal junkies, so the fact that their romance manages to even come across as a little sweet is the result of a humane director who couldn’t have been more suited to tell this story. Courtney Love has a small part in the film, years before she would actually turn into it.