Film Review: I, Tonya

I, Tonya is directed by Craig Gillespie starring Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan and Allison Janney. It’s a biographical film telling the story of competitive ice skater Tonya Harding and her rise to fame. Margot Robbie honestly goes all out with her portrayal of Tonya Harding, delivering what I would call her best performance yet. She started out in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, so it really is remarkable getting to see her at this point in her career now.

The role of Tonya Harding is a far from glamourous one, it really does rely on raw acting ability. The ice skating sequences are a joy to watch and the way their conducted make them feel more like an action sequence unfolding, rather than a graceful glide across the ice. She’ll go out there a lot of the time looking like she’s about to kick ass, despite coming from a background of violence and toxic relationships. She never seems to let that get in the way of her confidence out there on the ice though, but it’s definitely impacted her in the sense that she has quite an attitude which a lot of the judges take a disliking to. She’s held back not necessarily because she isn’t good enough, but because she doesn’t promote that image of an ideal American citizen.

I enjoyed this film quite a bit and like most biographical films I, Tonya makes a point of showing you what these people look like in real life and the likeness is uncanny. I’d say the casting for this film couldn’t have been any better, everyone seemed to be on top of their game and everyone looked the part. The film’s approach to narration had something of a Goodfellas feel to it which was a nice touch and actually worked really well. I think it’s a real shame I, Tonya didn’t receive more recognition at the awards, but perhaps that just goes to show what tough competition there was this year.

If it’s still showing in a cinema near you then definitely check this out, even if you don’t know a lot about Tonya Harding, that shouldn’t hinder your enjoyment one bit. I went into this barely knowing anything and to be honest I’d say that’s the best way, it’s nice being able to learn as you watch. 8/10

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