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'Sid and Nancy' (1986)
Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon famously told Alex Cox he should be shot after screening the director's Sid Vicious-Nancy Spungen biopic for the first time, and yet the biographical authenticity demanded by the singer frankly would've made for a pretty dull movie. Questions of historical accuracy aside, "Sid & Nancy" is at its core a mythically-tragic romance between two damaged souls who hastened rather than outright triggered one another's inevitable destruction. Leads Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb (who in an ironic twist won the role of Nancy over a young Courtney Love, though the future grunge-rock queen does appear as a minor character) throw themselves into their respective parts with admirable abandon, in a viscerally-effective performance tango that gets all the surface details right while also hinting at the mutual inner torment that drove the couple to their nihilistic end.
- Chris Eggertsen