I, Tonya

I, Tonya ★★★★★

“I was loved for a minute, then I was hated. Then I was just a punch line.”

After watching Craig Gillespie’s Cruella over the weekend, I couldn’t help but be reminded of I, Tonya all throughout, and how similar the narratives were for both flicks, and how both used the same narrative devices. Had to queue up I, Tonya with the little bro this weekend, and I think I loved it even more the second time.

It hits all the right beats like Tonya Harding hitting all her right marks in her best figure skating routines. I loved the Rashomon-like documentary style of the film, and how the contradictory stories and POVs fill in the gaps for us as an audience — regardless of who actually is telling the truth, I appreciate how every character, no matter how despicable they are, feels like a fully-realized person, and not just a caricature. There’s nuance, and there’s so much empathy — and you can’t ask for more from a film and a script.

I loved the film’s personality and identity. Rockin’ needle drops every few minutes, and the story has such a steady, metronome-like rhythm that felt like a figure skating routine in and of itself. Loved the title cards, and how meta & self-referential the movie becomes at certain points.

The performances across the board were stellar. Margot Robbie is still my personal pick for Best Actress from 2018, yes over Frances McDormand. Sebastian Stan deserved a little bit more love awards-wise for his manic performance as Jeff. And Allison Janney is obviously the film’s scene-stealer, and the “Devil Woman” that helps kickstart the film with its crazy energy. I originally thought that her performance was more one-note when I first watched, but on second-viewing, there’s so much nuance and I really connected more with her character’s silent beats that played out on-screen — watching Tonya land a triple axel during her shift at the diner, and other similar moments.

This movie is so damn good.

“America. They want someone to love, they want someone to hate.”

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