Nico, 1988 (2017) | Venice Film Festival

September 4th, 2017
Author: Meredith Taylor

Writer/Dir: Susanna Nicchiarelli | Cast: Trine Dyrholm, John Gordon Sinclair | Biopic drama | 93′ | Italia, Belgium

Danish singer and actress Trine Dyrholm holds centre stage as the maverick ’70s icon Nico in this stylishly cinematic third feature from Roman director Susanna Nicchiarelli.

NICO, 1988 focuses on the final years of the Berlin-born Christa Pfaffen who died in 1988, aged 49, having enjoyed a full life as mother to Alain Delon’s son, lover to Jim Morrison and muse to Andy Warhol – while also writing vocals for legendary band Velvet Underground.

Resenting the ’80s, Nico emerges a single-minded sullen misanthrope who takes no hostages amongst her associates or band-members while exuding a vulnerable charisma: “I’ve been at the top and the bottom – both places are empty”. Her final lasting love is for her son, a playfully convincing Sandor Funtek (Blue is the Warmest Colour). John Gordon Sinclair gives a dour turn as her manager but Dyrholm dominates in an astonishingly powerful performance.

Even if you’re not a fan, this enterprising part-imagined drama has pleasurably Noirish undertones sashaying through live sessions based on Nico’s last European tour: Paris, Prague, Nuremberg and even Manchester look tantalising through Crystel Fournier’s vibrant lensing as each perfectly composed frame resonates with Nico’s born-again soul. MT



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