Movie Title: I, Tonya
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 2 hr.
Who did I watch with?: Stephie
Where did I watch it?: Regal Stadium 12 – Swansea, MA
I, Tonya is a fantastically entertaining biopic featuring Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, and the real show stopper Allison Janney. I was seven years old in 1994 when Nancy Kerrigan got knee capped in Detroit and I remember the story registering in my consciousness even then. Going into this movie I didn’t know what to expect. I knew Tonya Harding was a talented figure skater, but I didn’t really know much about her life other than that one single event.
First of all Tonya Harding’s mom was psychotic. She was physically and emotionally abusive and Allison Janney is delightfully psychotic in the role. I know I said yesterday that Lesley Manville seemed to have a shot at an Oscar, but I take it back. The Best Actress in a Supporting Role should be a lock for Allison Janney. Tonya Harding transitioned from one abusive relationship to another including her first marriage to Jeff Gillooly which was mainly to get away from her mother. Shortly after getting married the beatings began and never really stopped until after the Kerrigan debacle. This abuse is chronicled graphically on screen. While her mother did not seem to deny much of what she was accused of and the two are still estranged, Gillooly denied that the abuse took place.
Harding is painted in an extremely sympathetic light and Margot Robbie does a phenomenal job with the character. She rises from a fairly extreme level of poverty, lack of education, and abuse. She is even painted as a victim in the Nancy Kerrigan incident. In the movie her husband orchestrated the event with his extremely bizarre friend Shawn and she knew nothing about it, but the court system still threw the book at her. The movie also spends a lot of time detailing her pariah status within the figure skating community because of her poverty and home spun clothing.
The movie is told in flashback form and frequently breaks the fourth wall. At the end it literally tells you that this is Tonya Harding’s truth and you can take from it what you will. I would take the story told with a grain of salt. But, it was a great ride.
The characters are a bizarre group of miscreants that made the story very entertaining and in my opinion deserving of a best picture nomination over more pedestrian movies like Call Me By Your Name and The Post. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Roman J. Israel, Esq. (2017)
Distance: 1 mile
I didn’t run over the weekend because it poured the majority of the weekend when I was free to run. Back to it today.