I, Tonya follows the life of figure skater Tonya Harding and her involvement to the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. It features interviews of the characters in between sequences. Margot Robbie plays the titular role while Allison Janney plays her mother.
There was this one word I thought of after watching this film – riveting. Margot Robbie’s intense portrayal of Tonya Harding is a spectacle similar to the latter’s public persona. Robbie, Janey and Sebastian Stan who plays Harding’s husband did a triumvirate of sublime performances that should be honored and perceived to be their best work to date.
Allison Janey playing Tonya’s vindictive Mother was such a delight on screen. You’d hate her like you didn’t know you could hate someone as much. She’s always in the zone with every scene she was in and it was not the ‘in your face’ kind of thing but in a subtle yet very effective way. Her Oscar nod was a a truly deserved one.
I thought a lot of critics underrated Stan’s performance here but I loved how he reciprocated Robbie’s vulnerability and angst as a struggling figure skater wanting to get the recognition she believed she deserves. Plus, he is utterly charming!
And then we have the biggest revelation of the year – Margot Robbie. She obviously didn’t get an easy role right here but from the get-go, she soldiered on and was simply mesmerizing on screen. Margot Robbie’s phenomenal portrayal of Tonya Harding is one unforgettable performance that deserves more than one Oscar. In the movie, she is REALLY Tonya. The struggle, the pain, the success, the vulnerability and the burst of emotions she was able to convey on screen was a clear testament that Margot Robbie is a force that will only get stronger given the right roles.
Incredibly well-crafted, this movie deserves to be watch by more people and be inspired by this brave this brave Tonya they tried to portray. I’m not sure how accurate they portrayed the events and characters here but Margot Robbie made me like Harding right here in contrast to what I’ve read about her in the past and in her most recent interviews. Regardless, this movie just blew my mind!
Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The film received three nominations: Best Actress for Margot Robbie, Best Supporting Actress for Janney and Best Editing at the 90th Academy Awards.