Sid and Nancy (1986) is mostly successful at communicating the chaos associated with the Sex Pistols, the English punk movement, and Sid Vicious.
I say mostly because the film runs out of steam in the last half of the movie. The film slows down unnecessarily when the Sex Pistols break up and drags on until close to the end. Instead of properly presenting Sid’s progression from quasi-success to ultimate desperation and murder, the troublesome pacing resulted in me mentally hoping and urging Sid to stop meandering and get on with the business of knifeplay.
Even with the poor pacing, this film is a thing of beauty in terms of acting. Gary Oldman does what I imagine every actor aims for when performing a role: he truly seems to become the character. I wasn’t watching Oldman play Sid, I was watching Sid destroy himself. Although Chloe Webb was more annoying than interesting and the rest of the cast didn’t match Oldman in terms of sheer acting brilliance, they did their job by not distracting from Oldman’s effort. This movie is classic Oldman, and I wish that recent efforts (i.e. Batman series) showcased his skills properly.
Be patient while watching this movie, especially towards the end. Your efforts will be rewarded.