As an ex-figure skater & ballerina, I really liked ‘I, Tonya’!
The plot. ‘I, Tonya’ (2017) is an American biographical film about the life of figure skater Tonya Harding and her connection to the 1994 attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan prior to the Olympic Games ‘94.
To start with, what a great choice of music! I like it when music in the film creates the proper atmosphere, like in the movie in question. Listening to the soundtrack, everyone who understands music can say that the events take place in the ‘80-90s. Among others are such heavyweights as ‘Barracuda’ by Heart, ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac, ‘Free Your Mind’ by En Vogue, ‘The Passenger’ by Iggy Pop, ‘Sleeping Bag’ by ZZ Top, and, of course, ‘Gloria’ by Laura Branigan. Seems like ‘Gloria’ is super-popular among movies creators: remember we could hear it in the hit movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (2013) as well (I still have lots of music from it in my playlist), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie? Speaking of the latter, Margot did an amazing job transforming into Tonya Harding in ‘I, Tonya’. It is clear that she had conducted a deep research on the real Tonya: at times, I even forgot that I was watching an actress performing the role of a figure skater.
All the costumes, all the dialogues, all the drama, and, of course, the skating create the full immersion. No wonder Margot is nominated for the Oscar. I really like Margot Robbie and all her films, but, to tell the truth, I don’t think she’ll outrun Frances McDormand who is fantastic in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ (2017) – I’ll write my review a bit later – but being nominated among such lead actresses as Meryl Streep and the mentioned Frances McDormand is already a big deal!
Even though Margot’s character was the leading one, Allison Janney, who plays her despotic mother, is outstanding! She leaves you speechless in one scene and then she makes you laugh in the other scene. And that is being done as a pro: with a nothing-special-to-it facial expression. And her swearing…lol…it is really in the right place. If Allison Janney gets an Oscar for the supporting role, I won’t be surprised at all! After watching the film, I understand why all the critics and movie-goers are so enthusiastic about her performance.
All in all, Margot Robbie & Allison Janney just nailed their roles, so I give ‘I, Tonya’ 9 out of 10.
The story of Tonya Harding and the events before and during the Olympic Games ’94 turned out even more interesting for me because it helped me to find out some important information. As long as I was too little to follow the Olympic Games ’94, I had no idea that the Gold Medal was won by Oksana Baiul, my fellow Ukrainian (a little note of patriotism here), no matter how strong Tonya’s thirst for victory at exactly those Olympic Games was.
I’ll tell you this, if the movie encourages me to learn more about a real hero(-ine) after a movie session, it is a great film! ‘I, Tonya’ is one of such. Even though, the most successful performance of the real Tonya Harding is shown alongside the final credits – what a nice move from the movie producers to let us compare, don’t you think? – I still watched some videos on YouTube to see more and make sure it actually was like depicted in the movie. So, go watch ‘I, Tonya’, compare with the real videos on YouTube, and you’re welcome to share your thoughts in the comments here.
Tagline: There’s no need to have class when you have talent.
Runtime: 120 min
Director: Craig Gillespie
Writer: Steven Rogers
Produced by: Tom Ackerley; Margot Robbie; Steven Rogers; Bryan Unkeless
Paul Walter Hauser