He did it his way.
Perfectly capturing the punk scene and all its equal parts rebellious and seedy trappings, indie director Alex Cox's anti-establishment exploration of the brief but electric life of The Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious features a defining performance from a young Gary Oldman.Often unable to perform - whether because he broke his equipment or took too many drugs - Vicious barely contributed to the long-running output of The Sex Pistols, failing to produce much material at all in his short life. And yet he was such a memorable performer, such a wild unpredictable animal - unable to be tamed - that his brief and minimal contribution remains a landmark chapter in the era of old school punk.So much has changed since that looking back on Vicious seems almost like a look back to Neanderthal times. He was a nasty, dirty, menace but his attitude was indicative of a desperate era - he was a product of a lost generation struggling to find its feet as the world crumbled around them. And, to some, his rage against the machine antics - whether or not they were even meant to be that way - inspired and provided a light at the end of the tunnel.
Cox's narrative picks up with Vicious at an all-time low, at the end of his time, his light having burnt twice as bright, so very close to now going out. It then flashes back to the time when everything changed; when this wayward youth met his match in the selfish, destructive, equally untamed wayward junkie Nancy, a groupie from the States who became inseparable from Vicious - a partner in life and, unfortunately, a partner in a path to death.
Worth watching for Oldman's performance alone
Gary Oldman may have since become known for his larger-than-life performances, but he simply becomes Vicious here, and is strangely matched by the unusual performance of Chloe Webb, who manages to make Nancy's sorry parasite into a vaguely pitiable individual. Whilst those unaware of punk may not get on board with this product of the times, Sid & Nancy is still memorable for Oldman alone.
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