I, Tonya (2017)
Directed by Craig Gillespie
Written by Steven Rogers
Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Paul Walter Hauser, Bobby Cannavale
Tonya Harding (Robbie) is a rising star in the world of figure skating. Strange events soon derail her career as those around her begin to be implicated.
This movie uses wild and somewhat unique approach to tell a fascinating version of the story of Tonya Harding and the end of her career. This film was written by Steven Rogers (Hope Floats) and directed by Craig Gillespie (The Finest Hours). The movie stars Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), Sebastian Stan (Logan Lucky), Allison Janney (The Girl on the Train), Paul Walter Hauser (Locked Away), and Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man).
This is a fascinating story that dominated headlines in 1994. The screenplay does a nice job presenting the many versions of events as told by the key players. The writing makes this one feel like a black dramedy, showing both the highs and the lows of Harding’s life. The characters introduced throughout the movie are interesting, ridiculous, and entertaining all at once. This is a movie that tells the stories of a number of people. Thankfully the writers knew how to balance the stories and blend them together into a fascinating tale. There are some moments that feel a bit overdone and this does distract from the momentum of the story, but it’s nothing that does any major harm to the experience.
The actors turned a very good script into an exceptional film. Margot Robbie does a great job bringing a realistic and eccentric version of Tonya Harding to life. She makes the role fun, but also seemed to connect to some of the deeper emotions. Her work even earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. She’s joined by a great cast of talented actors, including the great Allison Janney. Janney also does great work bringing an eccentric and unique personality to life. Like Robbie, Allison Janney was also honored by the Academy, earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Sebastian Stan bring another great performance to this film. Like Janney and Robbie, he seemed to become his character. His performance is smart and funny, and really works well with the rest of the cast. Paul Walter Hauser and Bobby Cannavale also add great performances as well. Overall, this cast does a great job elevating the material and helping to tell a great story.
This movie looks very good. The hair and makeup work done on the stars is incredibly accurate. Additionally, the costuming work, sets, and locations all help to create the world of the story. The sound and music work also add a lot to the experience. The movie earned a third Oscar nomination for Best Film Editing. Overall, this is a nicely produced movie that looks and sounds right for the story being told.
This is a wild story and the movie provides incredibly eccentric people to tell it to the audience. Fans of the actors should make sure to see this one. I would also suggest this one to fans of black comedy. This does have an element of sadness built in, but don’t expect this one to make you feel bad for anyone. The strong language might not appeal to everyone, but otherwise this is one to see. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Running Time: 120 Minutes