I, Tonya – Film Review

The infamous incident between Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan during the 1994 Olympics was a hot topic of conversation in the media where people vilified Tonya and made her a punch line. This film which is a black dark comedy is a jab back at that sentiment which showcases in a fourth wall breaking mockumentary what really happened leading up to that event. Tonya Harding has always had a negative connotation towards her name. Though she was a fantastic skater she never got the recognition she deserved after all the hard work she put into becoming an Olympic champion.

The story is told from multiple perspectives between Tonya and Jeff on her life story and sometimes Jeff’s as well. Margot Robbie and Sebastian Stan really are extremely well matched in this picture. They play off each other very well were you almost believe they were an abusive married couple struggling to make ends meet. Sometimes I film stirred away from being about Tonya and almost became “I, Tonya & I, Jeff.” What Margot Robbie does to commit to this role is extraordinary. She really showcases her as a character and as a person that you can see both sides of what she was trying to do in order to create a great film.

You fuck dumb. You don’t marry dumb.

Though the film could be thought of as biased rather than the truth. Even if it was told from Nancy’s perspective it would have been thought of as a swayed opinion. Even though the incident is in the film there isn’t much more that is showcased of the event. Nancy should have a bigger role and it felt like a missed opportunity. I would have liked to have seen that dynamic played up between a Princess versus the Brawns. Though that is a con, there is a huge pro the film has going for it which is the editing and camera work done to showcase strong sequences of ice skating that are very memorable.

Allison Janney steals the show as Tonya’s mother LaVona who could be thought of as a character, but is actual real person with an odd haircut and a parrot on her shoulder. So many great one liners in here to count that constantly keep you laughing and entertained with a strong performance. I would definitely recommend people see the film when its available to stream. Though I did appreciate seeing it in the theater with the great sound design and camera work it is definitely an actor showcase of Margot, Sebastian and Allison.


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