The Chive


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Sid and Nancy

Even in Covid-encrusted 2020, there are still more Mr. Mackey types spouting off about how drugs are bad, m'kay than there are dildos on a porn set. How do those buzz killers preach all that, "Dope is for dopes," shit with a straight face when they partake of any number of legal drugs like caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and, in most places these days, pot/weed/reefer/the devil's cabbage? 

Of all drugs, though, one will always be the black (tar) sheep, and that loneliest of vices is none other than heroin. Toothless tweekers, five-dollar blowjob crack whores, and two-pack-a-day smokers all look down on H users. Fucking hypocrites.

If heroin needs a new publicist, Alex "Big Black" Cox's biopic Sid and Nancy is at least partially to blame. Even though Sid Vicious (Gary "EVERYONE!" Oldman) and Nancy Spungen (Chloe "Don't Know Better" Webb) would almost certainly have lived pathetic, meaningless, and very short lives without being perpetually strung out smack addicts, Cox seems to think that if they just would've put down the needle they could have cured cancer. Or at least worked in fast food.

In reality, Sid and Nancy had less than zero going for them. They were fuckups of the first order who had nothing and were nothing. Then they fell in love with each other and heroin, forever changed punk rock, and today they're still talked about and even idolized by some people. Not the kind of people you'd want babysitting your kids, but people nonetheless.

Because sexism I guess, everyone always raves about Oldman's performance as Sid, but no one ever gives Webb any props for what she did with Nancy. Fuck that noise! Oldman didn't try heroin even once before playing one of the most notorious junkies in history. Webb, on the other hand, went so method that she cut herself to red ribbons when she smashed out the real glass panes in a proper British phone booth during one scene.

Not unlike its namesakes, Sid and Nancy is scruffy and dark and surprisingly funny. It straddles the line between being a biopic of the Sex Pistols and a tragic love story for the ages. Even including Repo Man, it's probably Cox's best work. And who doesn't love some Cox?

Now, you'll have to excuse me because there's a dragon that needs chasing. Heroin - it's not just for breakfast anymore!

July 24, 2020