There's no need to have class when you have talent!
Based on the unbelievable but true events, I, TONYA is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous, ill-conceived, and even more poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan.Featuring an iconic turn by Margot Robbie as the fiery Harding, a mustachioed Sebastian Stan as her impetuous ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, a tour-de-force performance from Allison Janney as her acid-tongued mother, LaVona Golden, and an original screenplay by Steven Rogers, Craig Gillespie’s I, TONYA is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding’s life and career in all of its unchecked––and checkered––glory.
As someone who is not exactly up to date when it comes to figure skating gossip, -tragedies, and -disasters, I was as shocked as you are about to be to learn that the story of Tonya Harding is legitimate. Let me lay it down for you.
Tonya, quite literally whipped into shape by her mother from the age of 4, shocks trainers, competitors and bystanders with her outstanding figure skating performances. The only ones left to convince of her brilliance are the prejudiced judges, who don’t seem too eager to send a “poor, Southern housewife from questionable background” to represent the USA at international skating competitions. Throw an abusive husband with a psychopathic friend in the mix and you have all the ingredients for a disaster in the making.
After having finally (sort of) convinced the judges that her cheap, home-made costumes and shortcoming of the perfect American family should not restrain Tonya from competing with the U.S. team at the Olympics, she receives an anonymous death threat. Her husband, clever as he is, conquers up the plan of sending a death threat to one of Tonya’s competitors, to “even the score”. Great idea, I know. But it gets worse. To execute this ridiculous plan, he decides to trust his psychopathic friend to arrange the details. A couple of weeks and a broken leg of Tonya’s biggest rival later, we have a problem – right before the Olympics.
I won’t spoil it any further, but let me tell you this: this is one of the best movies of 2017. It will have you at the edge of your seat, yelling at the TV, immerged in the story, forgetting about your snacks. The acting is phenomenal, especially that of Allison Janney, who got to take an Oscar home for her performance. The editing also got some recognition from the Academy, as did Margot Robbie for her interpretation of Tonya. There are 36 more wins and 107 more nominations listed under this movie, and if you ask me an Oscar nomination for best picture should have been one of them.
This is one of the very few movies that uses documentary-style interviews mixed with the acting out of events, and makes it work. The entire movie flows exactly like it should, the interviews never seem to be interrupting, and they actually add to the story. The fact that Allison Janney does such a phenomenal job at mimicking Tonya’s actual mom in her interview probably adds to this, as does the little bird constantly pecking at her ear while she makes her snarky comments.
Furthermore, this is – in my humble opinion – the only movie that has ever gotten away with making people talk into the camera in the middle of the scenes and breaking the fourth wall in seemingly random moments, without ending up looking ridiculous.
So, if you want to get hooked into an insane story incredibly well-told, well-acted, and just overall well-done, you should probably go watch I, Tonya.
Oh, and one last thing: let’s take a second to applaud this trailer. It is short, to the point, and it doesn’t give the entire plot away. Take note, practically every other movie trailer I’ve ever seen…
Trailer Courtesy of Movie Clip Trailers.