Sid and Nancy | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 111 minutes · 1986

Docudrama
For all the furious acting out on view, Alex Cox's 1986 feature about rock-scene burnouts Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen (Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb) seems a study in contemporary asceticism; their lacerating pursuit of subcultural purity couldn't be more thorough if undertaken in a monk's cell. Cox ascribes too much innocence to the suicidal pair, but his own savage innocence (a clever naif disguise) provides a lot of rough-edged formal benefits. The relentless visual tracking—e.g., of Nancy nattering on deliriously in literal extended takes—seems harrowingly apt: it plunges you into the maelstrom directly, without conventional cutaways, editing, or other distancing devices. A few too many moralistic foreshadowings, but most of the time Cox's situations and characters develop on their own eloquently entropic terms. With music by Joe Strummer and the Pogues.
Director: Alex Cox
Writer: Alex Cox and Abbe Wool
Producer: Eric Fellner, Peter Jaques, Margaret Matheson, Peter McCarthy and Abbe Wool
Cast: Gary Oldman, Chloe Webb, David Hayman, Drew Schofield, Debby Bishop, Tony London, Perry Benson and Gloria LeRoy

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