Niamh Galligan’s review published on Letterboxd:
First off I’d like to say I had no prior knowledge of who Tonya Harding was before watching this. That being said, I certainly know who she is now.
There are a few performances that really stand out in this film - that of Margot Robbie’s, who was incredibly captivating, vulnerable, and dedicated throughout, Paul Walter Hauser who is perfect as this hilariously clueless, completely disconnected from reality bodyguard, Allison Janney as the ice cold, mean, rootless mother, and Sebastian Stan - manipulative, controlling... terrifying. You can physically see the anger erupting out of him.
Though I really enjoyed the film and I do agree that Tonya Harding did not deserve that childhood or the abuse or a lifetime ban, it does have its flaws.
First of all the timeline is well, all over the place. The film invests a lot of time into Tonya’s childhood and then jumps to the incident (with the kneecap) and the aftermath that follows. It feels disconnected from each other. It’s like it bit off more than it could chew.
I also thought the way this film deals with abuse is worrisome to put it midly. It’s like it’s included for a shock reaction or even a comedic reaction. It’s portrayed in a way “well he hit me” kind of way. It’s not really taken seriously. Maybe that’s to do with the script, or the way Tonya addresses the camera/audience directly I don’t know, but it’s not handled well at all. No doubt though I felt incredibly sorry and scared for Tonya throughout the film.
I did think the costumes, music, performances, and judging from the archival clips shown in the credits, the attention to detail was as accurate as possible and well researched.
Overall I think the film ultimately was trying to tell Tonya’s story in the most honest, right here it is kind of way. For that I think it achieved what it set out to do - tell her story her way.
She deserved a lot better from the people in her life. Also I liked the pink bow.