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Monday, December 25, 2017


Tonya Harding rises through the ranks of competitive figure skating only to find disgrace when her husband tries to eliminate her rival.

Director: Craig Gillespie

Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Julianne Nicholson, Caitlin Carver, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney

Release Date: Dec 8, 2017

Genres: Biography, Drama, Sport

Rated R for pervasive language, violence, and some sexual content/nudity

Runtime: 1h 59 min


I, Tonya is a solid biopic that overcomes some of the story’s drawbacks with stellar performances from the cast.  Craig Gillespie keeps his film interesting by framing the film as a pseudo documentary with interviews spliced through the entire film.  What we get are 3 unreliable narrators who weave together a story stranger than fiction even as it occasionally veers into high end Lifetime movie territory.  That’s not to say it’s not intriguing as it touches on themes of tabloid fame and illusion of the American Dream.  At its center is Margot Robbie in the titular role.  Robbie presents Harding as a doggedly determined individual who can’t reach the summit because of a variety of reasons even if some are not entirely her fault.  Underneath it all, there’s a frayed and broken person who is looking for acceptance and love.  It’s an impressive performance that’s topped off with a silence sequence of Robbie looking into the mirror running a gamut of emotions before the climatic performance at the Lillehammer Olympics.  The supporting roles played by Allison Janney and Sebastian Stan are just as strong with each leaving a lasting impression.  Allison Janney gives the cinematic world another legendary evil mother to pantheon of evil mothers.  It’s an engaging and arresting performance that just as strong as Robbie’s.  Sebastian Stan’s turn as Jeff Gillooly equally impressive as he disappears into the role, he captures the mannerisms and vocal inflections perfectly.  The film builds to the final act where we’re witness to the bumbling cast of characters that lead to the attack on Nancy Kerrigan and the subsequent aftermath.  It’s all anti climatic since we all know how the story ends but watching this collection of actors deliver top notch performances is the real treat.



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