I, Tonya

I, Tonya ★★½

2019 Watchlist Ranked
Scavenger Hunt 54 - 17/30 - #10 Watch a movie with themes of abuse.

More like I, tonally messy. There are some fantastic performances in this film but the story around them is of inconsistent quality. A lot of this is rooted in a lifeless script devoid of any ounce of invention.

Don't get me wrong, this is an effective piece of sliced from the headlines storytelling. I just wish it at least tried to be clever. More than that, I wish it wasn't as drawn out and exploitative-leaning as it is. I get that the filmmakers--and, presumably, Tonya Harding herself--wanted to convey the extent of the physical and psychological abuse the skater endured throughout her life but after three scenes of it, I started questioning the need for more.

The film, for better or worse, is infinitely more interesting once the Nancy Kerrigan incident rears its sordid head. Before that, it's Allison Janney's LaVona, one of the most vile human beings I've ever come across in my many years of movie-watching, that keeps it from going off the ice.

I, Tonya is a sympathetic and competently-made window into a deeply tragic life. The problem is, in it's attempts to break out from a crowded field of biopics by using ~edgy humor, it also ends up being a lukewarm collection of fits and starts.

P.S. Did anyone else find the CGI skating sequences dizzying and/or off-putting?

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