I, Tonya ★★★★½

"i was loved. i can't describe how it felt"

the movie about tonya harding's life is turning out to be reflective of tonya herself: either loved or hated. for many reasons, valid on both sides. i've read a lot of negative things about this movie in the past month alone and there's a lot to agree with, from the bad cgi to the overall tone of abuse. the first time i saw it and took it all in, i was shocked by a lot of it, and not in a good way. but after letting it sink in and simmer, i just can't hate this movie. it's one i could hate, maybe should hate, but i don't

the biggest sell is not just margot robbie as tonya harding, but tonya herself. what happens to her and what her life was like leading up to "the incident" is usually played off as comedy, but it's really a tragedy in disguise. the abuse she suffers is all she's ever known and she takes life's knocks as they come, even if they come from the ones she loves. at first glance it might look like the film wants you to laugh at tonya's pain, but i feel now that it just doesn't want you to feel overwhelming pity for her. a melodramatic stance could have easily been taken here, for these scenes and the movie as a whole, but it's not in tonya's nature. the scenes of abuse are unflinching and a little too real, but it's a part of her story (this is just how i feel about this subject right now, don't mistake it for me telling you how you should feel on it)

the movie as a whole is far from perfect. it can be too brash and sometimes corny, but when it hits it's mark, it shines. the triple axel. the chain. the broken lace. the mirror. the courtroom ending. a few of the most memorable scenes of the year for a movie this highly acclaimed. a lingering infamous feeling at the core, surrounding tonya herself. and only tonya. THAT'S why this movie works for me. not just the performance, but the story of one woman and her own tragedy. a real woman that's been talked about and whispered about and laughed at for years. that didn't ever really have a shot in a sport that she all but mastered. that probably did nothing wrong at all. it doesn't even matter how much of this is true, because it's so bold that it demands you to rethink how you see her, how you feel about her

i can completely understand why people would hate this movie. in another universe, i probably hate it too. but i can't help but love it

"i was... loved, for a minute. then i was hated. then i was just a punchline"

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