Starring: Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, Sebastian Stan, Paul Walter Hauser, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale
Written By: Steven Rogers
Directed By: Craig Gillespie
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The movie I had no intention on seeing, I, Tonya, is actually a good movie and features an Academy-Award winning performance from Allison Janney. I don’t care about Tonya Harding but this movie is entertaining and funny, despite it being mostly true.
I, Tonya is based on the true events of Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), figure skater and her ties to one of the biggest scandals in sports history. The movie focuses on Tonya Harding’s turbulent relationship with her abusive mother LaVona (Allison Janney). Harding was the first American women to do a triple axel in a competition but her reputation and legacy is tainted by “the incident.” Tonya’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan) and her “bodyguard” (Paul Walter Hauser) are behind the assault of fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan before a competition and she will forever be known for being associated with that poorly executed attack.
I lived through the whole Tonya Harding thing back in the 90s so I wasn’t really interested in seeing this originally. Then it got nominated for a bunch of awards, so I was more open to seeing it, mainly to see the performances. It’s definitely a good movie, highly entertaining and I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I was going to. It reminded me of the Matt Damon movie The Informant. It’s based on a true story, and majority of the characters in this are just…so stupid. It’s one of those supposedly true stories you just can’t believe because either people are so cruel or so dumb. Her Mom was cruel so the stuff she said was funny but man, she was a bitch. Of course Allison Janney made this movie with her performance. The other side is the dumb factor, Jeff and Shawn so dumb and make up a lot of the comedy in the movie with their idiocy. Margot Robbie of course does a great job as Tonya, who gets the Charlize Theron treatment and de-pretties herself for the role.
Story wise, it shows us just as much as we need to see of her upbringing and early life before becoming a professional figure skater. The soundtrack is killer and features a lot of classic rock and 70s/80s music. The way some of the scenes are told is amusing, because the characters break down the 4th wall to say they didn’t do this, or this did or didn’t happen. About the only thing I didn’t really care for were the skating scenes because the CGI wasn’t the greatest for certain spots. It was too distracting of the CGI face, at least for me. But that’s a minor nitpick.
The Blu-Ray bonus materials include commentary, deleted scenes, various interviews and some trailers. There was a bunch of deleted scenes that was about 15 minutes or so. The deleted scenes were good because there’s these long takes from the Diane Sawyer interview with Paul Walter Hauser who plays idiot Shawn. If you watch the real footage, the guy does such a spot on impression of him. He was definitely a scene stealer for me, besides Allison Janney because the character was so dumb you had to laugh. The behind the scenes stuff is quick EPK style interviews and glimpses of the footage, or how they did the CGI, things like that.
The movie is a surprise and worth watching, even if you have own thoughts on Tonya Harding and the “incident.” I guess if this is true, then maybe paints her in a better light. I still just can’t help but think she was still involved somehow with the whole Nancy Kerrington thing. At least with I, Tonya, her side of the story is an entertaining one.
Behind The Scenes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Bottom Line: Surprisingly good movie with an excellent performance from Allison Janney and Margot Robbie.
Running Time: 119 mins