I, Tonya follows the life of Tonya Harding; a Olympic figure skater who had everyone against her. I, Tonya explores her upbringing, her struggles and her Olympic career which all culminates in her infamous 1994 attack on Nancy Kerrigan (her rival) and the fallout of it. I, Tonya is set in the present; with character interviews telling the events of Tonya’s life; from Tonya’s mother LaVona (played by Allison Janney), Tonya’s husband (Sebastian Stan) and Tonya herself (Margot Robbie); because of the nature of the attack – each side has differing takes on it and the movie tells both whilst always keeping Tonya as its focus.
Knowing nothing about Tonya Harding or her anything about her career really, I did not know what I expected when I watched the film; it had a talented cast and so I thought why the hell not? Now, although I think the story may not have been the strongest; I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh way the story was told – and that is the main reason why I gave this film an 8/10 or an A-. I loved the way the film incorporated comedy and mystery in the way it presented the film – with the interviews and the “mockumentary” working perfectly and creating a really good film. I have said this multiple times before, but I really love comedies and this film sure did make me laugh; once again though the techniques the film used and the way they told their story; something that was new and fresh.
I really did enjoy I, Tonya and I give a really high 8 instead of an 8.5 and it was a really hard choice. Let me just clear up, that I didn’t think the story was amazing but I really did enjoy the film, the way it was edited; the comedy in it; the mystery surrounding what happened – it definitely isn’t a great movie about Tonya Harding; but I loved how the film was done. It could have been anybody and I still would’ve loved it because I loved the storytelling and the freshness of it. But, the story was patchy and wasn’t completely explained as we never got a full picture and never felt like a story of Tonya, so I was almost tempted to give it an 8.25, but that’s crazy. So i gave it an 8 instead.
As I have said about a million times; the thing this film succeeds in amazingly is the style of film telling; I love ‘mockumentary’ films and shows; with Modern Family being one of my favourite sitcoms of all time. And I really loved the balance between comedy, mystery (as to what actually happened) because maybe he did do it, maybe he didn’t; maybe Tonya was aware of what was going on. I loved the characters in the film; with Tonya and her mother LaVona scenes together all being standouts. Probably because of the excellent Allison Janney as LaVona. But, my favourite scene of the entire movie; is when for a while – Lavona isn’t in any of the scenes, and then all of a sudden her interview shouted something along the lines; it’s boring – so back to me. And, it was hundred percent true, I was starting to not enjoy it as much because I didn’t get any humour from anywhere.
As I have said I absolutely loved Allison Janney as LaVona, she brang comedy, heart and regret to her role, with pretty much all of her scenes stealing the show. The big surprise for me is how Sebasation Stan wasn’t nominated for an Academy award for his role as Jeff, I think he did an equally terrific role as Tonya’s husband than Margot Robbie did as Tonya, even doing an equally terrific role as Allison Janney. I really loved the dynamics between the main three; and it almost became the team behind Tonya. I loved the dynamic between Tonya and her mother – but the big three character are what contributed to the main problems this film has; with the last act or so becoming more about Jeff than about Tonya.
Although I have said that I wasn’t happy that characters other than Tonya as I felt it dragged attention away from the plot o the movie – which was to explain Tonya’s story. My main problem was that I wanted more detail., explain why the public supported her – having not been alive; I would I liked to know why the attack was so significant. I didn’t get whether she was was loved or hated in the end but oh well. I completely understand that the filmmakers didn’t want to pick a side and tell you what to think, but I think American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson did an amazing job in showing all angles to the event and created a full picture. It just seems that at times, the film is telling me nothing and adding nothing new except character development – which the first act did perfectly.
That all being said, I loved the characters and I loved the balance of comedy, mystery and crime and the storytelling style, I thought I, Tonya was something new and fresh and funny. So I give I,Tonya an 8/10 or an A-.