Cinema Review: I, Tonya | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, May 23rd, 2024  

I, Tonya

Studio: NEON/30WEST
Directed by Craig Gillespie

Dec 15, 2017 Web Exclusive
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As the film itself points out, our collective memories have a way of twisting past events. As many remember it, it was skater Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly – or even Tonya herself, wielding a baseball bat – who smashed rivals Nancy Kerrigan’s legs weeks ahead of the 1994 Olympics, ending her career. Many tend to forget that Kerrigan went on to win a Silver Medal at the Lillehammer games the following month, and that it was a pair of goons hired by her self-proclaimed bodyguard who carried out the attack, and that it’s still unclear how much knowledge Harding had of the scheme before it happened.

Incredibly well-acted by Margot Robbie (Harding), Allison Janney (her mother), and Sebastian Stan (Gillooly), the darkly comic Harding biopic I, Tonya feels like an Awards Season version of America’s Dumbest Criminals. The way events play out in the film–based on how Harding and her ex recounted it after the fact–it could easily have been the plot for a Coen brothers comedy. Robbie anchors the film with her whole-hearted, emotional performances, making it an entertaining portrait of one of sports’ most notorious figures.

Author rating: 7/10

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