I, Tonya (2017)
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The film is about the life of Tonya Harding .yes, THAT Tonya Harding the one who gained infamy for her part in the attack on rival ice skater Nancy Kerrigan back in 1994. My daughter was only a small child at the time of the attack and I told her nothing about Harding because I wanted to see her perspective on the story. Both of us left very impressed. However, I must put in a warning about the film. It is very violent .filled with intense and very realistic domestic violence among the most realistic I have ever seen. With my background as a psychotherapist, this churned up a lot of memories for me and the film often had me in tears. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, then I strongly urge you to think twice before you see the picture or at least see it with someone you love. Seeing Tonya being slugged, slapped and even shot was tough to watch. Interestingly, often the audience responded by laughing an inappropriate but thoroughly understandable coping mechanism for such ugliness.
Does the film excuse Harding's behaviors or paint her out to be a victim? Not really and if it had, the film would have been a waste of time. What it does do is help you at least understand who she was and why she did what she did as she was more than just an intense competitor who didn't come forward when she learned her husband and his friend had physically assaulted Tonya's competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. Overall, a fascinating look back to one of the most celebrated news stories of the 1990s .one that folks who are old fogies, like me, well remember!
I, Tonya is a biographical picture about famed and disgraced figure skater, Tonya Harding. Tonya was pushed onto the rink by her abusive mother at a very young age and despite the abuse becomes a very talented ice skater. The cycle of abuse continues with her abusive husband but she tries to bear through and succeed. Everyone seems to be against her but her talent is hard to deny. The film also goes into the famed attack on fellow ice skater Nancy Kerrigan and the aftermath of the incident.
The film is sort of told from a mockumentary perspective as if key characters are being interviewed. The film also utilizes breaking the fourth wall where characters in a scene would talk to the audience. I thought this was interesting and separates itself from being a standard biopic and gives this film a real comedic depth. The soundtrack is catchy and literally every performance in this film makes for a very engaging time. I didn't even recognize the chameleon Bobby Cannavale until the credits rolled.
Some wonder why the film was made but it kind of helps you identify with Tonya. She suffered physical and psychological abuse from both her foul mouthed mother and her rage filled husband. Her hands may not be completely clean in what happens to Nancy Kerrigan, but she is also just a victim of circumstances. Vastly talented, but just short of reaching her pinnacle due to outside factors and her image and attitude. The film isn't perfect but its vastly entertaining and could be giving Margot Robbie and Allison Janney Oscar nominations. I'm going to let this sink in and I'm sure its going to be something I go back to.
Margot Robbie should be a lock for a Best Actress nod, completely burying her Australian background to deliver American white trash with complete credibility. (She won't win of course, because ... Tonya.) Her skating sequences are edited brilliantly - you really believe that it's her.
THE surest Oscar bet has to be Allison Janney as Tonya's acerbic, domineering, Swisher-chain-smoking mother LaVona Golden. She gives what I call a "schizophrenia" performance - there's no way that anyone seeing JUNO and this film back-to-back would ever notice that the mothers in both films are played by the same actress. Robbie got the loudest applause when the actors were introduced before the film, but when they came out afterwards, Janney's applause was equivalent to hers.
The story sticks to facts and places most of the blame for the Kerrigan incident on Sean Eckhardt, played with spot-on obnoxiousness by Paul Walter Hauser. The rest goes to hubby-at-times Jeff Gillooly, played by Sebastian Stan. He handles the husband-to-a-celebrity role with a charm not seen since Eric Roberts in STAR 80.
The subject matter may cost the film at awards time, but it's still an excellent movie that you should definitely check out if you have any interest at all in the story.
The media seemed much more about the sensationalism of it all than it was about maintaining the kind of objective balance that'd presume Tonya's innocence until evidence proved otherwise. But being honest, even if evidence came along that absolved Harding of any wrongdoing in the Kerrigan attack, how happy would the media have been to report it? Or would we have been to hear it? Because we've got to admit that, although it might not seem very nice, there was quite a bit of fun to be had during the couple months we spent focusing on this Hillbilly girl and her bumbling husband, right? Well with that in mind, what would the thought of her innocence have brought, other than damage to the narrative we were having such fun with? Regardless of where you stand in regards to her innocence, its only fair to acknowledge that her role had been laid out for her pretty much from the get-go. Kerrigan was its hero the moment she became the victim, could we have honestly entertained the notion that maybe Harding wasn't as much the villain as seemed to befit the story? How fun would that have been? Really?
In the last couple months, the articles about this upcoming movie had comment sections riddled with people mostly bemoaning the current state of Hollywood. Not the scandals, but that it'd even stoop so low as to peddle this kind of white trash story. "White trash" came up repeatedly of course, and while comment sections generally aren't the place to find the best sampling of voices, I personally wasn't able to find a single comment that was anything other than damningly derivative of Hollywood and/or Tonya...certainly not one suggesting the possibility that maybe there was more to this story than what we already knew. But that was always a possibility, wasn't it? The telling of a side that we hadn't heard?
After seeing the flick last night, I passed along my recommendation of it to a friend, commenting that Tonya Harding's guilt might have to be re-thought. In response, I got a chuckling, "Oh I have a hard time believing that!" Which, sure that has to be the prevailing opinion, I'd imagine. But why? Do we really and truly think that we have the kind of information on the subject that'd allow for the most objective, fact-based decision on it? Have many of us ever stopped long enough to have wondered whether or not we did? The line of questioning isn't likely to be met with much more than scoffs by those who've yet to view the movie, but they're questions that end up being well begged and something that the same people may find themselves unwittingly exploring afterward. I sure have been.
In the meantime, this isn't just a great movie, but a great sports movie, detailing an ice skating prodigy who love for skating drove her life, and whose life ultimately served as a testament to just how influential a class system can be that many of us are barely cognizant of even existing. Based off interviews and testimony from the key players in the Kerrigan scandal, watching it brings a much needed sense of balance to the story and will likely leave you amazed at how easily the truth can be blurred when viewed through the lens of sensationalized media coverage.
10/10, great movie that grabs you from its opening scene and will have you entranced throughout.
And now coming to the film...
'I, Tonya' like any other sports Biopic, shows us a woman from being a bullied nobody to becoming a somebody in the world of sports. Over-here, we explore Tonya Harding's hardened journey, that is at times powerful & at times exhausting.
'I, Tonya' Synopsis: Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie, in great form) rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband (Sebastian Stan, very good) intervenes.
'I, Tonya' is about Tonya's violent journey, that started from an impossible, no-holds-barred mother to a violent, brutal husband, who eventually ruined her career. But, Tonya is not a victim of her circumstances. Here is a woman, who despite being thrown into a world of ice-skating & rigorous competition, left a strong mark. She may have not done the right things to get to the position she got, but she was a talented personality who had the power to mesmerize & inspire.
Steven Rogers' Screenplay begins superbly & the personal interviews of its characters throughout the film, give it that extra edge. The first-hour is solid & gets into Tonya's world & the people involved with a wicked sense of humor. The second-hour is a little disappointing & overlong, and the sub-plot involving the 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan, Harding's rival and Olympic teammate, offers less impact. The Writing isn't always compelling & takes away some glory from the film, overall. The Dialogue, however, are crackling & foul to the core.
Craig Gillespie's Direction captures all the madness & ambition, with skill. The Director is in good form this time around. Nicolas Karakatsanis's Cinematography & Tatiana S. Riegel's Editing are strongly done. Art & Costume Design, as well as Make-Up, deserve a special mention.
Performance-Wise: Janney is outstanding & is sure to pick up many awards for her portrayal here. I wouldn't be surprised if she takes the Oscar home, next year! Margot Robbie, also is in very form, delivering a credible turn as Tonya. Sebastian Stan is entirely convincing as the violent husband. And Paul Walter Hauser is terrific as Shawn, one of Stan's friends, who leads Tonya & Stan, into much trouble.
On the whole, 'I, Tonya' is an imperfect biopic about an imperfect woman. Do watch it though, especially for Janney's sterling performance.
The real star of the film is not the actress who plays Tonya (Margot Robbie) but Allison Janney, who steals the show as Tonya's mother from hell, LaVona Golden, a serial psychological abuser, who still manages to garner sympathy through her abrasively witty comments directed toward Tonya throughout her childhood and into adulthood (as well as directed toward us, the enraptured audience). One can't help sense that LaVona heaped abuse on her daughter both out of love and jealousy-love in the sense that she wanted Tonya to be more successful in life than she was (LaVona being a waitress at a greasy spoon) and jealous once Tonya had achieved the fame and recognition that eluded her mother who was nonetheless a highly intelligent woman.
If it wasn't for Janney, I, Tonya, might have been a complete flop, as Robbie, the Australian actress who plays Tonya, is all wrong for the part. This is especially true when Robbie plays Tonya as a teenager-she simply looks too old to be believable. What's worse is how Robbie is unable to convey Tonya's likable qualities-that odd mixture of naivety and "trailer trash" aggression that initially endeared the public to her. Instead, Robbie comes off as too harsh, compromising her attempts to convey Tonya's more vulnerable side. While Robbie is an accomplished skater (and this is probably the reason why she was cast), I think it was a big mistake for Gillespie to use her for that reason. Without a compelling protagonist, the necessary verisimilitude is lost.
Gillespie's approach, akin to the Japanese classic, Rashomon, works best when Tonya's and husband Jeff Gillooly's differing points of view are contrasted in high relief. Gillooly denied that he ever physically assaulted Tonya but that seems highly unlikely as Tonya's description of what happened has the ring of truth. At a certain point, Tonya had enough of the abuse and decided to walk away from Gillooly-she even had to get a restraining order as he continued to stalk her (once putting a gun to her head, threatening to shoot her). But why did Tonya feel that she needed to go back to Gillooly after separating?-even though she claimed it was only a temporary arrangement. Despite being on the verge of complete success in the skating world, the old demons reared their ugly head-her crushing insecurities from her mother's put-downs and lack of a father figure-this led to her inevitable fall from grace.
The bizarre plot to injure Tonya's rival, Nancy Kerrigan concocted by Gillooly's moronic pal, Sean Eckhardt, is so ludicrous that it's hard to believe that he actually thought he could pull something like this off undetected. I happen to believe both Gillooly and Harding's assertions that they were unaware that the plot was going to turn into a physical attack on Kerrigan. Gillooly insisted the initial plan was to send Kerrigan some threatening letters which might perhaps cause her to withdraw from the tournament or throw her off her game. It makes sense that Gillooly would confront Eckhardt over his lame-brain decision to have one of his confederates actually break Kerrigan's knee cap with a baton, suggesting that Gillooly had no idea what Eckhardt was ultimately up to.
Much of what happens after the attack on Kerrigan, is anti-climactic. Gillespie basically presents a basic recap as to what happened as the story reaches its not so fitful conclusion. Of interest of course are the courtroom machinations, particularly Tonya's decision to take a plea bargain and accept a lifetime ban from figure skating. Benjamin Lee, writing in the Guardian, sums it up perfectly when he writes: "The zippy fun of the first half dissipates once we reach the overly familiar scenes of the second, the focus on the harebrained criminal scheme feeling particularly sub-Coenesque. It's hardly dull but it's not quite as biting and sharply realized as it could be given the wealth of stranger-than-fiction drama surrounding Harding."
With a more convincing protagonist in the lead role, I, Tonya, might have been a tad bit more enjoyable; nonetheless, there's still Janney's performance to marvel at. And for all those who long for nostalgia, Tonya's story will bring you back to the heady days of the early 1990s, a time that feels way distant from our own.
This film is 1st runner-up for the People's Choice Awards at the Toronto International Film Festival. However, for me it was marred by the use of music with lyrics at her 1st skating competition, something that would not have been allowed. On the flip side, I can accept the switch in music after she succeeds in her historic Triple Axel, as a switch from skating music to internal emotion.
Director Craig Gillespie is obviously a Scorsese protégé, and unlike Martin McDonagh's cheap ripoff of the Cohen brothers, he manages to pay homage to the man without imitating him. Like Scorsese (and Bob Fosse) he meshes documentary with realistic drama seamlessly well.
Margot Robbie and Sebastian Stan deliver good performances. Allison Janney and especially Paul Walter Hauser deliver OUTSTANDING performances. In fact, I didn't feel like Hauser was even acting as much as he was just BEING. These performances are also a credit to Gillespie.
Almost every scene is well-paced, has little "fat," conveys meaning and adds to the narrative, which indicates great video editing. The editing was so good that I didn't even check the time, which is rare for me. Outstanding pacing.
When I entered the theater, I didn't think that I was going to get even slightly emotional about Tonya Harding's story. But she is truly a sympathetic character without feeling sorry for herself, which is rare nowadays. Nowadays, everyone seems to be competing for who has it worst and who is the most pathetic victim. In Tonya's world, it's just her life, and it's presented as factual rather than maudlin and soap operatic. As Tonya basically says at the end of the film, "s--t happens. Deal with it."
Margot Robbie and Allison Janney just nailed their roles! I'm sure this is Margot Robbie's best performance... she got right into her character. Craig Gillespie's outstanding directing contributes to the greatness of this film.
There isn't anything bad to critique here. I highly recommend seeing this as I'm sure you'll be getting more out of it than you'd expect. A well deserved 8.5 rounded up to a 9/10 from me!
This movie fulfiled my expectation in terms of biographical segment and learning about this case. Margot Robbie portrayal of Tonya is amazing and we can say this is the best performance so far for Margot. She showed different personalities of the main character from childhood to the final performance in the Olympics 1994. Tonya was so unique and she had specific relationships with two of her biggest support and in the same time stumbling stones in her career, her mother and husband. Another pleasant suprise is Allison Janey who just won Golden Globe and will be in the Oscar race. Allison plays Tonya Hardings mother LaVona woman with really strange and sometimes harsh behaviour towards her daghter but in some way she pushed her to be good as she was. Craig Gillespie is director of this movie and he decided to shoot this movie in a little bit cartoonish way but thats what makes this movie funny sometimes. My problem with this movie is that some scenes or should say some situations was repeated so many times in the similar way esspecially towars her relationship with husband Jeff played by Sebastian Stan. This movie is divided in two parts, first part refers to getting to know characters and second is about incident and resolving that case. Second part wants to show us how regular people can be stucked in complicated situation similiar to movie Fargo (1996) but this is where that cartoonish shots is the problem because we cant experience that incident and lawsuit seriously and all looks strange in the end but that is risk when you make a movie about famous person and cases of the past. This movie with all his advantages and disadvantages is decent maybe not what i expected to be but on the other side its not disappointment. Margot is the star of this movie and she is big reason why this movie is good and why we will remember Tonya Harding character and personality. I give this movie 7.7
TONYA contains not one, but several, unreliable narrators lead by Tonya herself (Margo Robbie), her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan) and Tonya's estranged mom LaVona (Allison Janney). The movie is framed with faux interviews with them (and others) - often speaking straight to the camera (a convention which also occurs within scenes in the movie). But, make no mistake, Gillespie and Screenwriter Steve Rogers very much favor Tonya's POV here. It's her slant on the story that takes center ice.
The movie works as well as it does because of the cast and the lure of the lurid true story. Robbie looks nothing like Harding despite hours of makeup (this is made clear when we see clips of the real Harding), but, she enthusiastically takes on the role, giving it a grit and energy that keeps the movie on balance despite some significant bumps along the way. Stan and Paul Walter Hauser (as Gilooly's henchman Shawn Eckhardt) are also fine. More problematic is Janney's LaVona. Janney is a superb actress, but, here she is so over the top that she verges on being a cartoon (unsurprisingly, the real LaVona Golden wasn't interviewed by the filmmakers, so it is little wonder than she comes off the worst of the major characters).
The contrivance of an unreliable narrator isn't a bad concept, but, too often I, TONYA ends up feeling unreliable itself. Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver) is very much shunted to the background (and only utters one word, "Why!??"). To believe I, TONYA you'd think that Kerrigan was some rich Ice Queen in contast to the working class Harding. The truth is that Kerrigan's family was also working class (the Dad working three jobs to pay for her training). It's understood that the movie is from Harding's perspective, but, at a certain point, you have to wonder about the movie's overall authenticity. Matters aren't helped by a certain reluctance on the part of the filmmakers to have dramatic scenes play out. There is some very nasty physical and sexual abuse on display, but, they are often undercut with a wink, a retro song (often not very good selections) or a quip directly at the camera. It's as if the filmmakers are saying to the viewer, "Yes, some bad stuff happened, but, hey, here's a funny aside - you're still having fun and enjoying the movie, ain't ya?!" And, some of the mugging for the camera makes it seem like the cast is auditioning for an off-Broadway production of an early Coen Brothers film.
Despite some major qualms, I, TONYA refreshingly breaks the mold of a Bio-Pic. It's simply too bad that the filmmakers couldn't find a consistent and more thoughtful tone.
Margot Robbie was the wrong actress for this, with an especially wrong accent. Tonya Harding is not an Eastcoaster, she's from Oregon. Robbie is an average actress at best. Should have been Amy Adams all the way! On the other hand Allison Janney did a great job, and even more so Sebastian Stan as Harding's abusive husband.
This is one of the few movies I believe could have benefited from an additional 15 to 20 minutes of runtime. At 2 hrs runtime that should be enough to forge a strong connection between characters and audience, but that connection never fully developed for me. Less editing may have helped. Different editing choices also. Perhaps more in depth coverage of Harding's childhood and adolescence, and less coverage of every single time she got beat by her husband.
All in all its solid, but not outstanding. With a stronger lead character and different pacing I would have given it a 7.5/10. As it stands now my rating is 6.5/10.
But people please remember this is fiction, made to be entertaining. This is not a history lesson.
One of the reasons is its screen script. There is no "official story" about what happened to Tonya Harding or Nancy Kerrigan. The script was written based on interviews with Tonya and her ex-husband, carried on by the screen writer himself. So, much of what is told in the movie is purely fictional, especially the parts about her mother, since she never agreed to talk to the screen writer or the production staff. Tonya herself said some parts of the movie were inaccurate, and Margot Robbie said that when she first read the script she thought it was about a fictional figure skater, not Tonya Harding.
Besides, many things in this movie remain unexplained. The movie is basically about the verbal, physical and moral abuse Tonya endured throughout her life, but shows too little how Tonya built her athletic and ice skating career. And regarding the Nancy Kerrigan controversy, there isn't much talked about, either. Nancy is just a shadow in this movie, there's nothing about her point of view or how the incident actually affected her or her career. In the end you feel that you don't really know what the life of Tonya Harding the ice skater was really like.
Regarding the direction, I found really tasteless Gillespie's attempt to give a comical tone in the NUMEROUS domestic violence scenes of the movie. The characters break the 4th wall to give the violent scenes a more 'casual' look (because according to Gillespie, Tonya talks about her violent past in a very casual manner), but cinematographically this 'casual tone' didn't work - it only makes it look like the movie romanticizes abuse and underestimates its impact on a woman's life. Also, the whole sarcastic/comical tone of the movie made it feel superficial, boring and childish. To me, a more serious approach to Tonya's life would be more appropriate.
And regarding Margot Robbie's performance, I found it very disappointing and amateurish. Regardless the fact that she's not as bulky or athletic as the real Tonya, she played a white trash, foul-mouthed Tonya Harding that never existed. Her interpretation of a redneck is purely stereotypical. Also, I don't know where Robbie's accent came from, since real-life Tonya doesn't have that strong southern accent - she's from Portland, come on! It's an annoying accent that appears and disappears throughout the movie, alongside with the numerous bad words (some of them included by Robbie herself) and a very artificial, rude way to talk that Harding didn't have. Robbie didn't convince me and made me feel NOTHING for her character.
On the other side, Allison Janney is BRILLIANT as Tonya's mother. She could flawless play a sociopath, and truly deserves at least an Oscar nomination as a supporting actress. Another good surprise in this movie is Paul Walter Hauser's acting.
To sum it all up, this is a mediocre movie, that didn't entertain me (how am I supposed to find funny a story with so much domestic violence?), and didn't move me. It also barely tells who in fact Tonya Harding was. It is a superficial, bidimensional portrait of a woman who's surely much more complex than what was shown in the movie.
Considering the level of involvement Tonya Harding herself had in the attack, it is disgusting and irresponsible that she is being portrayed as a victim here!!
Granted, back in 1994 she played dumb and acted like she didn't know anything about the attack. However, over 2 years ago new evidence came to light that proves she was heavily involved in the planning of the attack from the get-go!
The fact that this movie tries to paint her as a victim is a gross misrepresentation of the facts! She was a conniving, manipulative, sore loser that exhibited the epitome of poor sportsmanship! Karma lucked her butt; and doesn't deserve our sympathy, nor any income from this movie!
So, knowing that the movie toys with the story a little, I still was floored by the characters and the character development. Tonya Harding, whether she was guilty or not, became a sympathetic in my eyes. I'm not saying that what she did was right or that Kerrigan deserved it (that shouldn't even be a question) but with the kind of upbringing she had, was she going to be an emotionally stable adult? I would say no. Even though the world decided she was the villain, her work ethic and her perseverance made her endearing to me. Gillooly and Golden are villains and they're monsters but the movie makes them characters that you want to follow. Add in one of the dumbest characters I've seen on screen in Shawn (Paul Walter Hauser) and a surprisingly informative narrator in Martin Maddox (Bobby Cannavale) and you have a movie populated by unforgettable characters that all have a surprising amount of depth.
I've talked about the characters and how closely the movie sticks to the facts, but I wanted to add how sharp of a script I think this was. The movie is hilarious at points and it just breaks your heart at others. The dialogue is always sharp (even though its vulgar as h@!!) and I found the movie suspenseful throughout. They also present serious issues like spousal/familial abuse in a different light. Tonya faces violence daily and instead of stopping the movie to show it, its very much treated as an everyday occurrence. It is shocking and every time you're starting to have too much fun, it just sobers you up completely. It was a bold but effective choice to show how screwed up her life was. Add in the great 4th wall breaking and narration from different characters, they really produced something special with this.
The script was great, but Gillespie and his team shot the crap out of this too. The skating and action scenes are dynamic with the camera constantly moving and showing things from different angles. What Tonya and the other skaters do as athletes is an art and the movie shows that. I also thought the movie was gritty but had a sense of style. There's also a neat shot showing the passage of time after one of Tony and Jeff's breakups that weaves things together beautifully. Instead of just skating by, the movie committed to making things exciting from a visual standpoint.
I, Tonya has also garnered some deserved praise for the actors and actresses. Even as a fan, I was blown away by Margot Robbie as Tonya. She doesn't look like Harding, but her performance has so much emotion and effort in it that she capably carries this movie. She's probably going to get an Oscar nomination for this and she deserves it. She's got tons of talent and I hope she gets more roles like this. I was expecting great things from Robbie, but the surprising performance was Sebastian Stan as Jeff. He really did great work, he's the underrated one in this cast. He capably plays Jeff as a slimy/bad guy but complex nonetheless. Allison Janney is just evil as LaVona and she's also deserving of the praise/award recognition for her work. She's so awful but you can't turn away because of Janney's performance. Paul Walter Hauser is perfect in the worst way for Shawn. He's so stupid and Hauser plays up the idiocy of the character so well. I also liked Bobby Cannavale in his small role, he's a nice mix of sleazy and funny that helps round out the story.
I only have 1 criticism of this movie and its not the one that most of the reviews have. The biggest complaint I've heard about the movie is the CGI in the skating sequences, that its obvious that they've put Margot Robbie's head on another skater. I didn't think it was a seamless effect, but I never had a problem with it. My problem was that they made the decision to have Robbie and Stan play the 15-16 year old versions of Harding and Gillooly and while I get it would have been an awkward transition (by the end of the movie, Harding is only 23 so how else could they have done it?) I still found it hard to buy them at those points. I don't want to blame the actors, but it just came off as a rare misstep for a largely flawless movie.
This is one of 2017's best movies for me. It was highly praised and after seeing it, I think rightly so. I think the acting, direction and script were all impressive and the movie came together to be something worth going to see. I wish it had a bigger release, I had to go out of my way to see this but I, Tonya is a great sports biopic that breaks the mold. Check this out if you get the chance.
Margot Robbie does a fine job in the lead role, avoiding the temptation to do a simple impersonation and instead trying her hardest to turn Tonya Harding into a three-dimensional character. The film limits her success, however, because of its dogged determination to remain glib and cartoonish and play the whole thing like a big joke that the audience is in on. This is weirdly at odds with choices the director, Craig Gillespie, makes at various points in the movie, like giving Tonya monologues about how she's a different person than the media would have us believe, or one uncomfortable scene during which Robbie addresses the movie audience directly and tells us that we collectively are as responsible for persecuting Harding as her abusive husband or monstrous mother. If handled differently, moments like these could have made this film a reflexive examination of America's unhealthy relationship with the media and its obsession with fame, however earned. But the movie is too eager to be a crowd pleaser to dwell for long on anything too serious, so it rushes on to its next bit of comedy and ends up doing to Tonya Harding exactly what it accuses its audience of.
In addition to Robbie, Allison Janney is getting a heap of acclaim for her performance as Harding's mother, an absolute horror of a woman. She hits the marks she's asked to hit, but it's a shame that such a talented actress as Janney isn't given more to work with than the gross caricature she's given here. On the other hand, Sebastian Stan, as Tonya's buffoon of an on-again-off-again husband, gives a great performance that no one seems to be talking about.
"I, Tonya" is entertaining, but it doesn't deserve to be remembered in the same company as some of the best films of 2017.
And as for the acting, I personally thought Robbie was terribly miscast as Harding---didn't believe her for a moment, and Janney, while competent and entertaining, can play this type of supporting role in her sleep and did nothing here to convince me otherwise.
I just ended up feeling that maybe this movie was better suited for the Lifetime TV channel--although even there a couple of reality TV documentaries have told the same story in a more interesting manner.
And if you are going to play real life people, then get them close to the real people. But here they really just didn't. They played everyone as caricatures. But because they did that, it didn't feel serious and came off as a goofy comedy.
And as a side note, the CGI face on the skater of Margot was too noticeable.
If Real life Tonya had that life as they portrayed, they should have made it more sympathetic. I just didn't feel for her.
Even if the script was workable, which I don't think it was, as I think they should have gone a different direction, the execution was not good, for the reasons stated. Just bad direction. Could also be because they got an Australian to direct a movie about Americans and there is a just a geographical and cultural disconnect that he didn't get.
Just watch interviews with Tonya harding and then watch Margot's "performance" in the film and you can see it's miles apart and you can do that with every single character in the film. Just so far off, which always bothers me.
the performances was the only thing that made that whole movie bearable really, Margot Robbie did a great job playing her character and so did Allison Janney, her performance was so convincing i wanted to punch her in the face through out the entire movie sebastian stan's performance was kind of confusing though. i mean, he did have some moments that made me so believe him, but other than that i thought his squeaky attempt to impersonate jeff's voice (which turned out not being that squeaky in the real interview) was kinda disturbing, but that is a director's thing though, which brings us back to the wrong decisions
the movie in general made me question the reason why they did it, it somehow felt at some point that the producers themselves didn't know the actual truth behind the incident too
after all, it still had some touching moments and kinda felt enjoyable at some moments, although this feeling doesn't last so long but it's still a movie telling a story about a girl who stood for her dream but in no ordinary way.
Janney as LaVona steals the show as Harding's abusive & vulgar mother. She completely overshadows Robbie, who I felt was miscast even though she produced. Apart from the costume & scruffy hair, her transformation wasn't overly noticeable. I was seeing Robbie, not Harding.