Film Review: I, Tonya (2017)

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.

Movie Poster courtesy of impawards

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Review: The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)

Oscar Trophy - Specials

Based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir, The Wolf Of Wall Street adequately narrates Belfort’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) conquest in New York making it big in Wall Street at any cost. Adapted by Terence Winter who created  HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and have written in the award winning The Sopranos, Director Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio partnered once again as they introduced as to Belfort’s world encompassing his rich and lavish lifestyle that includes drugs, sex and anything that money can buy.

When I “personally” pointed out that Jennifer Lawrence was seemingly the heir apparent to Meryl Streep, I immediately thought of his male counterpart and I easily thought of Leo. He’s perfection for the role and his subtle charm and overflowing charisma easily translates into the screen. Truly Leonardo DiCaprio is one of a kind. Some critics said that he’s sometimes too rehearsed or too exaggerated but I beg to disagree, dear Sir and Ma’am. I thought he’s acting style is singular because he knows how to commit into a character. Jonah Hill (who played Donnie, Belfort’s neighbor) was such a delight as he explode here with his comedic timing like no other actor could do. A one of a kind performance as well that nagged him several acclaims since its run. Margot Robbie whom I thought looked ravishing was equally amazing as Naomi Belfort – she’s just so fun to watch!

I’ve to say though, that what truly stands out in this film aside from the three actors that I mentioned above was the perfect use of scoring and cinematography. Both enamored me into feeling that this truly was the 90’s.  The 90’s was my growing up years and it felt fluid and too reminiscent all throughout the film. That is what I call good direction.

This is yet another Scorsese’s masterpiece depicting a charming Leo as a hero who scammed millions of dollars from unsuspecting investors – which is basically what the film’s all about. Their partnership was truly a force in the industry. Leo knows what Marty wanted him to do in this film and both delivered exceptionally well. Leo’s truly a gem in film.

Leonardo, you are simply magnificent. (mimicking Marion Cottilard during her Oscar presentation to Kate Winslet. LOL)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Job Favreau, Jean Dujardin, Joanna Lumley, Cristin Milioti, Christine Ebersole, Shea Whigham, Katarina Cas, P.J. Byrne, Kenneth Choi, Brian Sacca, Henry Zebrowski, Ethan Suplee, Barry Rothbart, Jake Hoffman, Mackenzie Meehan, Spike Jonze, Bo Dietl

Rating: 9.5/10

*The Wolf Of Wall Street received five Academy Award nominations, including the Best Picture category.