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Tribeca: Trine Dyrholm makes a great "Nico 1988"

by Jason Adams

Although I might have been hallucinating by the time, given the sheer length and purposeful boredom of the experience, I'm pretty sure there's a portion of Andy Warhol's four-hour double-projector experimental film Chelsea Girls where the Velvet Underground singer Nico just sits and cuts her bangs for twenty straight minutes on camera. It felt like twenty straight minutes, anyway. And that was my introduction to her. Catherine Deneuve heroin chic - too cool for anybody, herself included.

That's the baggage one drags into a bio-pic about the singer, and that's what Susanna Nicchiarelli's film called Nico, 1988 insists on clipping away like those bangs. It's right there in the title - this is 1988, twenty-two years after Underground, after Andy, and this is a fully fifty-year-old woman with dark brown hair and a debilitating drug habit who does not give a shit...

Danish actress Trine Dyrholm (who won Berlinale's Best Actress prize two years ago for The Commune), is joltingly great. She gives Nico an aggressive middle-aged swagger that can only come from having lived hard and bitterly for too long, defiantly right on past one's own expiration date. This Nico is a survivor, thick-skinned but dinged. These years have taken their toll on her, and they keep taking a little more every single morning she has the nerve to wake up again.

Nico 1988 is fascinated by that disconnect - by the people who come into Nico's orbit and stare at her like a science experiment; like a flap of skin they can fold up to find the old (young) Nico underneath. She's forced repeatedly to argue for her here and now, for the woman that she's become, scars and death-stares and all, but the world's not having any of it. They see what they want to see. Nico 1988 is a ballsy slap back. 'Guess what, folks,' it shouts and growls, 'pretty girls grow up. They cut their bangs, they grow mean, and they have stories to tell, too.' Pretty goddamned good ones.

Nico, 1988 plays Tribeca on Fri 4/27 (9:00 PM), Sat 4/28 (7:30 PM), and Sun 4/29 (8:45 PM)


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Reader Comments (5)

I definitely want to see this as I'm a fan of Nico's music.

April 26, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

I've only seen Trine Durholm in one movie, "Love is All You Need", but she was pretty great in that, playing quite a different character. Such fun, discovering versatile actors who already have a back catalogue to explore.

April 26, 2018 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Adri - i've only seen her in one thing too "The Commune" but she was just superb in it, so i'm looking forward to this.

April 26, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Very much looking forward to this. This is the best kind of biopic.

April 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

So do they delve into her racism and Antisemitism?

April 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterArlo

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