Justin Peterson’s review published on Letterboxd:
A fun an stylistic look at one of the biggest scandals to ever rock the world of Olympic figure skating.
"Why can't it just be about the skating?"
I want to start out by saying this is one of the most brutal depictions of ongoing spousal abuse I have seen in recent memory. They make light of it to make it bearable to watch and fit in with the tone of the movie, but I really hope this film inspires people stuck in that kind of situation to get out, because there is no excuse for that kind of violence.
I was around the age of 9 when this scandal went down and I recall hearing plenty about it in the news. In my young mind I always pictured that it was Tonya that did the clubbing. I am glad to have seen this version of the story to bring some clarification to what may have happened and the players involved.
The cast is excellent with oscar worthy performances from Margot Robbie as Tonya and Allison Janney as her mother. I have always been a fan of Janney going back to her work on the 'West Wing', and she really brings this Meryl Streep level of despicableness out of the character.
Many people have said Margot Robbie was too pretty to be Tonya, but I totally disagree and I think she did an excellent job getting absorbed in role of this redneck figure skater.
The plot moves along at a brisk pace as we see the story unfold while cutting to interviews of the characters in present time to get a retrospective view point. I really enjoyed the editing, onscreen text, and pop music that really helped to make this an engaging bio pic.
I thought all the figure skating elements were really interesting, and they do a great job at breaking down what made the triple axel such a valued accomplishment.
As the film shows, Tonya was the rebel of the figure skating world, not coming out of a privileged home but rather earning her way to the top thru bold determination and athleticism. But due to her strained home life she was never able to obtain the level of consistency needed to stay on top. And eventually her association with some really idiotic 'want to be' criminal types, caused her career to come crashing down.
I, Tonya is a really fun/fascinating look back at the career of Tonya Harding told thru engaging story telling and great performances, but did not offer much an emotional impact.
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Happy movie watching ... SKOL!