If you miss “I, Tonya” the next time you go to the movies, I promise you will regret it.
“I, Tonya” follows the true-life events of U.S. Olympic ice skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie, “Suicide Squad”). The story is told from Harding’s point of view and the perspectives of those close to her, including her mother, LaVona Golden (Allison Janney, “F is Family”), her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan, “Captain America: Civil War”), and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckardt (Paul Walter Hauser, “Kingdom”).
Their sides of the story are shown through interviews and fourth wall breaks during the action. It all flows surprisingly well and helps keep clear whose opinion we’re seeing. Instead of presenting every scene as fact, the film goes out of its way to show the contradictions that existed in each person’s take on what actually happened. This allows the movie to focus more on the narrative rather than being held down by a need to be historically accurate.
Of course, Harding’s side of the story is the one the filmmakers attempted to follow the closest. This is appreciated, since Margot Robbie is absolutely fantastic.
Robbie’s dedication to learning the sport is incredible, since she started skating for the first time for the film at 26. What’s more impressive is that she was able to pull off every move in Harding’s routines, except the infamous triple axel.
The real star of the movie, however, is Allison Janney. Her performance is both hilarious and heartbreaking. The power she brings to the screen is undeniable. However, her presence wouldn’t be nearly as noteworthy without the spectacular screenplay.
The writing is fantastic with plenty of vulgarity and gut-wrenching lines. It’s hilarious!
If there was one, solitary issue that slightly affected my enjoyment, I’d have to say that sometimes “I, Tonya” can get just a bit too real.
Since there’s a dedication to Tonya’s perspective, the domestic abuse she claims to have suffered through is shown. Nothing is held back, and honestly, it’s difficult to watch. This isn’t a problem in the overall quality of the film, however. In fact, the movie wouldn’t have been as amazing if it wasn’t willing to show the violence she had to live with. That being said, it was still difficult to sit through.
There is nothing quite like “I, Tonya.” It’s delightfully unique, brandishing its vast vulgarity and ceaseless comedy powerfully. It’s an incredible movie that cannot be missed. Please, don’t pass up the opportunity to see it.