Alex Cox’s film about the turbulent relationship between Sid Vicious and partner Nancy Spungen, is out now on DVD & Blu-ray as part of its 30th anniversary.
Although initially praised by critics on its release in 1986, the film badly underperformed at the box office and was further tarnished by a stinging condemnation from John Lydon.
Furious at both his and Sid’s portrayal, he wrote in his 1994 autobiography:
“To me this movie is the lowest form of life. I honestly believe that it celebrates heroin addiction…”
Yet, although one can understand Lydon’s discomfort at the film, the fact is that it is a convincing portrait of addiction and a fateful, doomed love affair.
This is in large part down to the two lead performances from Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, who manage to come across as soul mates as their relationship spiralled out of control into alcohol and heroin addiction.
Cox’s direction and screenplay (co-written by Abbe Wool) is solid and greatly enhanced by Roger Deakins’ cinematography, which are given an extra lift on the restored Blu-ray edition.
Although your appreciation may depend on how much you like the music and brief career of The Sex Pistols, time has been kind to it.
For many it remains a cult classic and an imaginative reconstruction of a significant chapter of rock history.
Sid and Nancy is out today on Blu-ray and DVD