Title: I, Tonya Director: Craig Gillespie Year: 2017 Run time: 2hrs
“Based on the unbelievable but true events, I, Tonya is a dark 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 and poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. Featuring an iconic turn by Margot Robbie as the fiery Harding, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, 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.”
1:21 - Six husbands seems like a lot. 5:58 - Cute tiny person on top of the podium - height mismatch is incredible. 7:36 - Oh my god she kicked over the chair! 9:19 - “…rich, prissy, a-holes.” “Well-rounded.” 13:02 - You don’t want your mum on your first date, ever. 16:55 - “So, what do you like, like me?” 23:20 - Ice skating don’t look like that on the Olympics. 25:04 - Gasp! 30:07 - A Richard Marx concert, uh oh! 33:14 - That guy shouting “you suck”, that’s like real life Twitter, that is. 36:17 - The soundtrack to this film is mega. 44:20 - That’s the tag line for this, right? “That wasn’t my fault.” 50:03 - “Never talk to him.” 52:05 - “Pear is a shape.” 1:03:20 - I do wonder about polygraphs. 1:08:22 - I sort of want a film about the two idiots. 1:18:44 - “I don’t know any Tony Harding,” is one of my favourite lines ever. 1:32:55 - Don’t really appreciate being blamed for attacking her, I’ve never heard of her before this. 1:39:29 - Bless her for trying to find her showbiz game face. 1:48:47 - It does seem entirely unfair.
I was expecting this to be quite like the Molly Bloom film, based as it is on a real life Winter Olympics athlete going slightly rogue. But actually, it wasn’t like that at all - it was packed full of dark humour, characters speaking to camera, disagreements about whether things actually happened or not, and a generally slightly lighter tone.
That’s not to say it’s a light topic though. The theme of abuse is present from start to finish and can actually be quite hard to watch at times. None of the characters are particularly likeable, but you do end up feeling sorry for Tonya, having endured quite a lot and getting a really poor judgement at the end - if she was more involved than it appeared, it certainly cost her a lot more than it did anyone else.
But the acting was great, the story told in a really intriguing and entertaining way, and I certainly learnt a lot about what a wreck the judging system in ice skating it is - it turned me off that sport very quickly. Allison Janney was incredible, being both harsh and yet brilliant at the same time. My only complaint about the whole film, really, is that it seemed to assume I knew the story when I didn’t. I may be the only person in the world who didn’t, but still, those kind of assumptions can make for a slightly more difficult watch. Still great though.