Hey, remember Tonya Harding and the infamous attack on Nancy Kerrigan’s knee? Well, Director Craig Gillespie tells Harding’s story with I, Tonya.
I, Tonya is not a typical biopic. The script by Steven Rogers was crafted from interviews with Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan) that were wildly contradictory. So, Gillespie decided to show both sides of the story and the results are hilarious.
The film tells Harding’s life story with a focus on how she met Gillooly and the lead up to the notorious “incident.” Anchored by brilliant performances from Robbie, Stan, and Allison Janney as Harding’s spiteful mother, LaVona, it is one of the better films this year. The conflicting accounts of what happened serve to create an uproarious narrative that is, at times, borderline unbelievable. I know that Robbie trained in ice skating in order to nail the role, but there were times where it looked like her face was digitally grafted to another skater’s body and it took me out of the movie at times. A small quibble in light of such an entertaining film, but it had to be mentioned, because at times it looked so obvious. In addition to the three leads, Julianne Nicholson puts in some solid supporting work as Harding’s on-again-off-again coach, Diane Rawlinson as does Mckenna Grace as a young Tonya. However, the side character that steals every scene he’s in is Paul Walter Hauser as Shawn, Tonya’s “bodyguard” and “mastermind” of the attack on Kerrigan. His character’s stupidity knows no limits.
I, Tonya is a highly entertaining film that will keep you in stitches throughout, but be careful, because by the end, you may find yourself feeling sorry for the titular character. See it.