I, Tonya

I, Tonya ★★★★½

I remember the events of this movie going down when I was in... 3rd grade? 4th? Somewhere thereabouts. I remember the jokes. I remember the spoof of the story in Weird Al Yankovic's "Headline News" single. I remember the thorough demonizing of Tonya Harding. And I remember it all but disappearing in the years to follow. I don't think anyone forgot their names, but it all became irrelevant in light of other news, starting with the O.J. Simpson trial and going down the line.

And that is where this biopic comes from -- telling the story of a woman who was once the best figure skater in the country, was dragged through hell, and dumped into oblivion. A most American story. The movie does not attempt to turn Harding into a saint, which I liked. Her story is all the more affecting seeing her flaws. This was not a young woman who faced opposition by the bougie assholes moderating the American image simply because she was poor. A poor Nancy Kerrigan probably wouldn't have faced as much opposition. Harding faced as much opposition as she did because she wanted to earn her place by the merit of her skating ability alone, and wanted to be who she otherwise was -- smoking, drinking, hard rock loving, and not dressed like the other women on the ice who pandered to the judges' fantasies.

Her endurance in the face of her vitriolic mother, her apathetic father, her abusive husband, and the world that wanted her to be someone she was not... it's all really inspiring. If I am to believe this story as it was told, I assert this: I admire Tonya Harding. I hope other viewers come away feeling the same way, and I hope that late is better than never.

Margot Robbie does an amazing job conveying Tonya's triumphs and struggles, and Allison Janney... holy shit. Amazing.

Warren liked this review