“I mean, come on! What kind of friggin’ person bashes in their friend’s knee? Who would do that to a friend?”
Welcome to my favorite season of the year: Oscars Season! I recently had a movie night with my roommates and we watched “I, Tonya” which is nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Margot Robbie), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Alison Janney), and Best Achievement in Film Editing (Tatiana S. Riegel). And let me explain to you how this movie night was: FUN AF. This movie was completely, totally, and absolutely different than what I expected. I sort of anticipated a more serious biopic or maybe even a dramatic story, like a Lifetime movie. Boy was I wrong – Craig Gillespie created a funny and dark mockumentary that depicted the violent and, to be honest, exhausting journey Tonya Harding has been on.
Yes…Tonya Harding….THAT Tonya Harding. That 1995 Winter Olympics scandal you had heard about. Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan were THOSE girls that year. The two ice skating champs had a really interesting story, and to this day it is was sort of an unsolved mystery. To Sparknote the story: there was a famed attack on Nancy Kerrigan and the blame of the incident heavily goes to Tonya Harding. Do I think it was Tonya Harding’s fault? I’ll discuss later.
“I, Tonya” is completely from Harding’s point of view. Actually, it is pretty interesting how little you see Nancy Kerrigan’s character in the movie, but it is probably due to the sour relationship between the actual ladies. Both ladies have not talked in years (understandably) and Nancy Karrigen also went to say in interviews that she never got an actual apology. So, since this movie was basically all about Tonya Harding, Margot Robbie (who plays Harding) had to be on her A-game. And let me tell you, she was. To be honest, I was never really a huge Robbie fan. I know. Shoot me. But damn, this movie proved me wrong. She was fantastic. First of all – her physical change was so believable. Plus her attitude and anger was just so damn aggravating (which was completely and totally the point). She really proved to the world and me that she means business. Great actress.
Tonya had undeniable talent as an ice skater. She was motivated/forced (you say tomato, I say tomato) by her abusive mother. Her rough and foul-mouthed mother was played beautifully by Alison Janney (who has my vote as an Oscar winner). This journey becomes even harder when Tonya meets the love of her life and soon to be abusive husband (played by Sebastian Stan). All she has ever known is abuse, and yet she tries her very best to successful. She had a dark and rough life – so why blame her right?
The best part of this movie is how it was made. Like I said, this movie is sort of like a mockumentary where the main characters are being interviewed by the audience. This makes it fresh, interesting, and more personal. The entire movie had a Lifetime movie vibe, except just much better. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lifetime movies. But this one was purposely made to have a grungy, low quality vibe because that is how Harding grew up. The comedy made this movie even better; I was laughing the whole time!Also, the costumes in this movie were insane. I seriously think “I, Tonya” was snubbed by not receiving a nomination for best costume design. If you really go back and see the real Tonya Harding’s costumes and the ones in the movie, they are so insanely close.
So, did this movie change my mind about the infamous scandal? Well, before the movie I 100% believed she did it. The movie taught me that Tonya Harding worked very hard to get where she’s been especially due to the constant violent and mental abuse she faced from her loved ones. Yetttttttt, her attitude never really helped her out. She was often unprofessional, rude, and kind of scary. Harding had talent, but with the circumstances, her image, and her attitude she never reached the pinnacle of her success. But, with this new perspective, I can understand why Harding would believe that she worked too hard to not win. Her hands are not clean in my opinion when it comes to the case with Kerrigan.
So go see “I, Tonya”. You will completely enjoy the performances and the story so much. Its funny, sad, and overall extremely interesting. Tonya Harding not only completed a triple Axel, but even found a way to bring her name back into the American household.